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DEATH OF GALA


That is the title of this poem. Who do you think wrote it?

I had a dream that Gala died
With no one standing by her side,
For even death refused to host
Such a terrifying ghost.

All lived in mortal fear of her,
A tigress with deep ruffled fur.
Adder-tongued, she struck at friends
To leave a scar that never mends.
Born too soon, died too late,
She deserved a better fate.

The sort of legend she became,
Tied to Dali’s clounish fame,
Created minions who would poke
Specious fun at her and joke
About her ways behind her back.
Nor did their jibes irreverence lack,
Though to her face they would pretend
Her reign as queen would never end.

Who can count the human cost
To have a soul of Russian frost?
When none are left who can recall
The eyes that pierced a lover’s wall
How sad no one should be bereft
When only Gala’s name is left!
When mortal friends have been denied
And no one cares that one has died,
A force like Gala’s fades away,
While Dali’s courtiers mince and play.
Now all are gone who could endure
The weight of hatred so mature
It rejected love and chose
Just the callowest of those
Who came to love and stayed to hate
The temptress by the white-whashed-gate.
So the day that Gala died
No one mourned and no one cried.
With no lovers left to see
Her tarnished immortality,
The friends her tongue had wounded said,
“Her bitter soul is better dead.”

OK, who do you think wrote that? It was privately printed in 1991 in a book titled Some Fifty Unprofessional Poems 1988-1933 (that’s right). The book was given to me by the author along with another which contained olumns he had written about mining for a Colorado mountain newspaper.

It was written by A. Reynolds Morse, the great Dali collector, founder of The Salvador Dali Museum and The Salvador Dali Foundation.