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January 09, 1981 - Image 64

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-01-09

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G i. Friday, January 9, 1981


Jewish Poets in 40 Countries and 20 Languages,
Five from Michigan in New, Monumental Anthology

On Monday, Jan. 12, at
Hebrew Union College in
New York, Jewish poets
will gather in a specially ar-
ranged symposium and
reading session that will
surely be marked by the
largest assembly of Jewish
poets ever to gather in an
exchange of poetic experi-
That assembly may well
be judged as an echo of a
most unusual and very im-
pressive collection of poems
by authors who have pro-
duced in many languages. _
"Voices Within the Ark:
The Modern Jewish Poets"
(Avon Books) contains the
poems of more than 350
Jewish authors. The im-
mense volume was edited by
Howard Schwartz and An-
thony Rudolf.
This monumental work
of 1,210 pages includes
the poetic works of Jews
from 40 countries, writ-
ing in more than 20 Ian-
. guages. Israel, the U.S.,
Canada, Eastern Europe,
Cuba, Scotland, South
Africa, Wales, India, Sri
Lanka, Holland, France,
Germany, Greece, Hun-
gary, Italy, the USSR,
Spain, Sweden and Tur-
key are represented.
Included also are transla-
tions of poems by Jewish
authors in Iraq, in transla-
tions from their original
Five of the poets whose
works are included in this
volume are from Michigan.
They are Sol Lachman,
Philip Levine, Joseph
Brodsky, David Rosenberg
and Martin Grossman.
Most noteworthy in the
Michigan listing is the pre-
sentation of the numerous
poems by David Rosenberg.
A university professor
who is making aliya to Is-
rael, Rosenberg gained
national prominence and
recognition in Jewish
cultural circles for his
translations of the
Psalms and other Bible
texts. He has emerged as


Martin Grossman, a na-
tive of Chicago, now lives in
Kalamazoo where he edits

an authoritative trans-
lator of texts from Scrip-
tures and as an aca-
demician of note.
Between 1967 and 1973,
Rosenberg published eight
volumes of original poetry,
followed by his ongoing
project in interpretive
translation, "A Poet's Bi-
ble." Begun in 1973, this
series of books has included
"Blues of the Sky," "Job
Speaks" and "Lightworks."
During a stay in Israel in
1977, Rosenberg studied bi-
blical texts in relation to the
Jewish festivals, and this
research yielded "A Blazing
Fountain" (which appeared
in 1978) and led to his
newest work, "Chosen

"Skywriting" and does free is "The Bread of Our Afflic-
lance writing. One of his tion."
poems in the vast collection

The Bread of Our Affliction


This bread is rock, not wheat.
The stone of life, not the staff.
No man can eat it daily.
Not without coughing, choking,
And flying, finally,
Through the black sky, the earth.

This bread will not rise
But sink. -
We eat it now
Even as we did
in Egypt.

Joseph Brodsky, a
of Leningrad, who
given a five-year jail sen-
tence "for social parasitism"
in 1964, and did not - serve
Green State University. He A Jewish cemetery near Leningrad.
out this term, came to the
is the publisher of the A crooked fence of rotten plywood.
U.S. in 1972. He has since
Anti-Ocean Press and the Behind the crooked fence lie side by side.
served on the University of
author of a book of poems, Lawyers, merchants, musicians, revolutionaries.
Michigan faculty. He is pre-
"We Have Been Such For themselves they sang.
sently assisting the settle-
Birds." He is represented in For themselves they saved.
Sol Lachman, who is cur-
ment of Russians in the U.S.
"Voices Within the Ark" For others they died.
rently the president of the
from his Greenwich Village
with the poem, "Waiting for
Detroit Zionist Federation,
respected the law residence. He has made
is a graduate of Bowling
and in this unavoidably material world
many Christological asser-
tions since coming here but .
pored over the Talmud
idealists to the end. in "Voices Within the Ark"
he has a moving Jewish
poem which he volunteered
Perhaps they saw further.
Perhaps they believed blindly.
for this work. It is "A Jewish
Eve is angel, though bone of bone. She is the wealth of
But they taught their sons to be patient
Cemetery Near Leningrad."
women, she makes my garden love's maze, all flesh and
and to endure.
fruit: the sweat of bliss is dew upon our bellies. She is the
They sowed no grain.
warden of this world, and its colors speck her eyes as riches
They never sowed grain.
soil her hair. Fear can't hUrden her heart, silver under
They just laid themselves down in the cold earth
breasts of gold: cries_from dispossessed night burnish her
like seeds.
sweet sleep. Y etI hear you from Eden, where wind sighs over
the ruined metropolis, where you keep vigil in that waste,
Then they were covered over with earth
mounting your old tower to watch deserts of stars, count
dead moons, and weep the dust from your eyes. Even here candles lit
this hour is yours, Lilith, my demon wife before time, like m v and on the Day of Remembrance
hungry old men with shrill voices
years before the sun, my power knotted in your long black
choking with cold
hair. Steps that climb to Eden lead down again. Heirs of
shouted about peace.
blood may walk in the shade with Eve, giants prime yoking
the mammoth mountains to her good will and farming men
And they got it.
in her big daughters. They may stretch their dominions over
In the form of material decay.
the flood of time, and crown Eve mother of waters — but,
Remembering nothing.
Lilith, your song rises from the stones' curse at night, and I
Forgetting nothing.
turn to hear you. No laughters of sons, no wife from my bone,
_ n_1
Behind a crooked fence of wet plywood.
can drown your voice.
A couple of miles from the tram terminus.

Cemetery Near Leningrad

Waiting for Lilith

Philip Levine, born in De-
troit in 1928, was educated
at Wayne State University.
He now teaches creative
writing at California State
University in Fresno.

He has published nine
books of poetry and is repre-
sented in this volume with
eight poems, including
"Now it Can Be Told."

Now It Can Be Told


What would it mean to lose this life
and go wandering the hallways
of that house in search of another self?
Not knowing, I wore a little amulet
to keep the evil from my heart, and yet
when the Day of Atonement came I did not
bow my head or bind myself at wrist and brow
because I knew I would atone. Silently
I would become all the small deaths
which gave me this one life.
I told this to the woman who loved
me more than life, and she wept
inconsolably, and thus I learned we
must love nothing more than life,
for when I am gone who will she
take her one loss to? Will she know
that somewhere close, perhaps in
the glow of old wood or in the frost
that glistens on the ripening orange,
is the grist and sweat of the one she loved?

"Voices Within the Ark"
is a tremendous work, It is
among the most notable of
literary anthologies. Mul-
tilingual and very selective,

its anthological character is
most impressive and its
monumental character
makes it a work that is cer-
tain to leave its impression

not only for the average lov-
ers of poetry but as a
textbook supreme in liter-
ary circles everywhere.

To Professional Groups

Rare Footage of Freud Is Shown

NEW YORK — Accord-
ing to an article in the New
York Times by Dava Sobel,
physicians attending the
meeting of the American
Psychoanalytic Association
recently were treated to a
showing of rare footage
from Sigmund Freud's pri-
vate hours, narrated by his
daughter Anna, 85, now di-
rector of the Hampstead

Child-Therapy Course and
Clinic in London.
The films, collected under
the title "Freud: 1930-
1939," were shot by Mark
and Sarah Mack
Brunswick, Americans who
went to Vienna to be
analyzed, and by Princess
Marie Bonaparte, one of
Freud's most famous
Although the films say
nothing of Freud's analytic
technique, they hold fasci-
nation for modern analysts-
because personal informa-
tion about Freud is so scant.
The apparently close rela-
tionship he enjoyed with the
Brunswicks and Princess
Bonaparte, who were un-
dergoing analysis as part of
their own analytic training,
is not typical of his associa-
tions with other patients.
A long scene in the film
takes place at the Pari-
sian home of the Princess
and her husband, where



the Freud family was
welcomed in June 1938
after leaving Vienna by
night train to escape Hit-
ler's persecution.
"That is our house in the
Bergasse," Anna Fr
commented, "after
swastikas were put on it."
Several of Freud's sisters
perished in the concentra-
tion camps.
From Paris, the already
frail founder of
psychoanalysis, suffr : g
from a heart condi ,
moved to London where- ne
died the following year at
the age of 83.
Dr. Arcangelo R.T. D'A-
more of Washington found
the 16-millimeter films in
the Sigmund Freud collec-
tion at the Library of Con-
gress five years ago. He ar-
ranged for the addition of
the sound narration by
_ Anna Freud with a $2,000
grant from the New-Land
Foundation of New York.


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