The Magazine

Little Boy Blue

The brief, unhappy transit of Lorenz Hart.

May 13, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 33 • By KATE LIGHT
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Ultimately, biographies end sadly: Men and women who have done wonderful things become sick and die—but usually after growing old. Hart cut to the chase, straight to deterioration and death, at 48. His last words were, “What have I lived for?” He was, by numerous accounts, funny and imaginative, generous and charming. Many consider him our greatest lyricist: love, life, irony, absurdity, loneliness, and loss, all cloaked in a smoke-and-alcohol haze. Said Hugh Martin, an arranger for The Boys from Syracuse, “The great tragedy was that he never found anyone.”

Kate Light, poet and violinist in New York, is the author, most recently, of Gravity’s Dream and the libretto to Once Upon the Wind.