A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
It was 39 years ago Sunday that John Lennon was murdered by a deranged fan in front of his apartment – or, in the bitter words of Jimmy Breslin that night, “became another person who died after being shot with a gun on the streets of New York.” He was 40. Yoko Ono posted a searing tribute: Alongside her devastating photo of John’s blood-spattered glasses, she described his loss as “a hollowing experience” and mourned that 1,400,000 Americans have been killed by guns since his death, or roughly 100 a day. It’s difficult to confirm the number – in 2015, other sources cited the figure of 1.15 million – but the proximate reality is, regardless, horrific. A final, lengthy interview a few days before his death reveals the buoyant, conscientious, sometimes dark, always forthright human being we lost – on being an imperfect father: “I’m doing me best.” We can only imagine the art we lost as well. These dark days, God knows we could use his voice, heart, wit and enduring hope: “Imagine all the people/ Living life in peace/ You may say I’m a dreamer/ But I’m not the only one/ I hope someday you’ll join us/ And the world will live as one.” RIP.
“Peace is not something you wish for; It’s something you make, something you do, something you are, and something you give away.” – John Lennon
First published in Common Dreams.