Rememberng Ken by Molly Kronberg


Remembering Ken

Ken was a man of character, honor, and integrity—old-fashioned virtues. He was a man of his word.

He weighed words carefully, always trying to say precisely what he meant, because he understood the connection between morality and right use of language, and on the other hand, the enormous damage done to truth and therefore people by perversion of language. His love of language reached back to his earliest childhood—for example, his discovery at the age of 8 of the poems of Emily Dickinson and Christina Rossetti. By the time that, barely 16, he went off to college, he was a practicing poet himself, a calling he followed for many years thereafter.

Ken’s poetic instinct could be found in everything he did: his efforts to make every publication on which he worked a harmonious composition; his efforts to bring beauty in visual form to the printed page, in written form to the articles he wrote or edited, in aural form to the audiences of the dramas he directed.

The same beauty could be found in his gentleness, his abhorrence of brutality, his kindness to all who encountered him (kindness mixed with the sardonic brusqueness he deployed as an educational device), and his truthfulness. His enthusiasm for learning and teaching, for new ideas and for the more precise expression and rigorous examination of venerable ones, was the content of the Socratic art of midwifery he practiced in directing plays or in editing. He was like the Clerk of Oxford of whom Chaucer writes, “And gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche.”

Whoever did not know Ken Kronberg is the poorer for it—there are few such people in any era, and they are to be treasured.

                                                                        —Molly Kronberg
                                                                        April 19, 2007