The ILA (Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts at Emory University) has offered to honor Bob Detweiler by permanently naming one of their seminar rooms after him. Donations may be sent to:
In memory of Dr. Robert Detweiler
Senior Director of Development and Alumni Relations for Emory College
Arts & Sciences Development
825 Houston Mill Road, Ste. 102
jprince @ emory.edu
The Emory Report will also have an article on Bob in the coming week’s issue.
I’ll be delivering the poem below at the memorial service in the morning. When I’ve had more time to process all of this a little more I hope to write another, but I hope that this will serve the purposes of the occasion.
In Memory of Bob Detweiler
We gathered here today as one
Make an unlikely flock,
So here is just a simple rhyme
To honor our good doc.
A teacher he, who greeted us,
And beckoned from the door,
And for each question that was asked
Presented us four more.
Some Jupiter in him – and Pan -
A touch of Socrates,
St. Nikolas for splintered ones
To put each mind at ease.
Grandfather to my Adelheid,
The alpine horn he blew.
(He had some running joke – I think -
With every friend he knew).
Is what he taught us best -
To wrestle with the text unique
To BE THERE was the rest -
And maybe most in stories full
Of shaming, war and pain,
The book shows more than it can know -
To find – in flesh becoming word -
A testimony true,
Behind the fiction, structures live
Transforming me and you.
When each of us recalls that sense
At other vineyards found,
We fire – like the synapse jumps -
New paths and meanings ground.
Extraordinary gift it is
When such a man as this
Combines the voices that he knows
As nexus of the mix.
For bare survival’s not enough
There should be celebration,
And dignity – respect and grace -
An artful life – affection.
Good company he was to us
To read – religiously,
Where it was safe to share our souls -
Write better ways to be.
No heart have I for coiled abyss -
No crafted emptiness
Wrapped up in ghostly metaphors
– And echoes of the rest.
If like the birds now – each to each -
We cry so differently,
We still take comfort – back and forth –
through our sweet liturgies.
Your work is done (… say “Hi” to Donne).
I miss your twinkly eye.
I thank you for the chance to talk …
Good-bye – dear friend, good-bye.