Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Two By Harvey Shapiro

Not much action here recently, other than YouTube videos. Tomorrow I head west for vacation; while I'm gone, here are two poems for you, both by the remarkable Harvey Shapiro.

The first I've been meaning to type in and blog about for, I don't know, a year or so; it's pretty mordant, even bleak, but the shifting tones and ideas in it are brilliantly modulated, I think. The second is on a facing page in The Sights Along the Harbor, and will leave a sweeter taste in your mouth, perhaps more appropriate to the season. (Although to be honest, my kids have had a blast this Hanukkah singing scraps of our family-composed, more-accurate translation of "Ma-Oz Tzur." "You prepare the slaughter / We'll supply the altar," or "We'll dust off the altar, / You supply the slaughter": which do you think? It's really quite a song, when you think about it.)

Anyway, more soon, when I get to sunnier climes!

The News

The Muslims in London are screaming,
Kill the filthy Jews.
I heard it on the BBC.
I agree, and call my brother
in Israel to give up the settlements.
Also, while he's at it,
what about the grandchildren?
Maybe the world is getting ready for another
big bonfire. You bring the marshmallows.
I'll bring the Jews.

The Generations

His son stood, holding and rocking the baby,
swaying back and forth, combined
with a little sideways shuffle,
which he had never done in shul,
since he never went to shul,
though his father had and his father had,
so the prayer that bound them all
was still being said.


Marc said...

I'm so glad to have found another Jewish poetry blog! It felt so alone in the world. I'm linking you right away.

Marc said...

I almost forgot:
This is my blog. Small. But pretty Jewish.