19. Remember His Spirit

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Remember His Spirit
Sari Max

0:57 min

19. Remember His Spirit (3:26)

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Poem by Ben Max with Music by Sari Max


Remember His Spirit

He did his best.

He had to.

He had to read, to write, to learn, to think, to analyze, to argue.

He had to succeed. His spirit said so.

Remember his spirit. His laugh, his anger, his smile.

Remember his love. His love for languages, for psychoanalysis,

for dreams, for books, for people.

Remember his memory. His consistency.

Always doing his best. Meticulous.

His spirit. His love of knowledge, his unquenchable thirst for knowledge.


Picture him smiling, walking pain free, telling a story, speaking with passion.

Smiling from a sip of Pellegrino, of Reisling.

Telling you how it is, how it was, how it should be.

Remember his spirit. Spirit of a wise old man, of a curious child, of a hungry journalist.

Spirit of knowing, of not knowing.


But don’t just remember it. Live it.

Read a book. Read three, one for each room you spend time in.

Live his spirit. Learn another language. Then another. Then another.

Watch the news. Get angry.

Say damned obstructionists.

No really, say it…


Live his spirit. Have passion. Love knowledge. Love loved ones. Tell them.

Want more. Live his spirit.

Smile when you taste something you love. Smile when you remember.

Speak when you have something to say, tell your memories,

Give Freud a chance.


Be self-aware. Have some schlag.

Try to understand as much as you possibly can.


Do your best. He did.



Music: Noisy Joy by Sari Max

Track 19



Ben Max wrote this magnificent tribute to Harry Kranner Fiss, while sitting at Harry’s side, on the last day of his life. It was read at his funeral (May 2nd, 2009), at the unveiling of his headstone (May 2nd, 2010), and graveside, at the second anniversary of Harry’s passing (May 2nd, 2011).

I had a difficult time recording the recitation as I cried or held back tears throughout. Jeff Harris’ accompaniment is his superb improvisation of Track 7, NOISY JOY, which I wrote for Harry.

In time for the second anniversary of his passing, I took this track and with the expert assistance of Jeff Schlichter, (the multitalented videographer, photographer, actor, singer, director, editor, lighting and sound manager), added many photos to create a video tribute to Harry Kranner Fiss. It is called, Remember His Spirit. It is available on the menu bar under “Filmmaking” and on YouTube and Facebook.


Although I have twenty-four videotaped interviews with people from Harry’s personal and professional life, I am not nearly done with the documentary project based on his life and work. This three minute and forty second tribute is heartfelt and meaningful but in no way does it serve as a trailer or “short version” of what will one day be the finished project.


Ben Max’s poem was the inspiration for the documentary.