Post Your Favorite Poem!
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Post  Tue, Apr 17 2018, 2:54 pm
So I love poetry, as you might know.. Thought it would be interesting to hear different Imas' favorite/s poem/s. So Poetry lovers... here's your chance!

Here's one of mine: It's "Life is Fine" by Langston Hughes who happens to be one of my favorite poets. I love the deep emotion expressed in these simplistic sounding words.
I went down to the river,
I set down on the bank.
I tried to think but couldn't,
So I jumped in and sank.

I came up once and hollered!
I came up twice and cried!
If that water hadn't a-been so cold
I might've sunk and died.

But it was Cold in that water! It was cold!

I took the elevator
Sixteen floors above the ground.
I thought about my baby
And thought I would jump down.

I stood there and I hollered!
I stood there and I cried!
If it hadn't a-been so high
I might've jumped and died.

But it was High up there! It was high!

So since I'm still here livin',
I guess I will live on.
I could've died for love--
But for livin' I was born

Though you may hear me holler,
And you may see me cry--
I'll be dogged, sweet baby,
If you gonna see me die.

Life is fine! Fine as wine! Life is fine!
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Post  Tue, Apr 17 2018, 3:01 pm
I saw this poem in Highlights Magazine as a kid and have loved it ever since. Simple, childlike, but beautiful.

Who Am I?

The trees ask me,
And the sky,
And the sea asks me

Who am I?

The grass asks me,
And the sand,
And the rocks ask me
Who am I?

The wind tells me
At nightfall,
And the rain tells me
Someone small.

Someone small
Someone small
But a piece

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Post  Tue, Apr 17 2018, 3:14 pm
Yes, it is beautiful, Enneamom.
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Post  Tue, Apr 17 2018, 10:17 pm
DD in 2nd grade came home with this poem today-and I fell in love with it:

I Had a Great Day

by Ruth Romer

I woke up too late,
So I bumped my head.
Caught in my covers,
I fell out of bed.

I stepped on my dog,
And he bit my leg.
I hopped to the kitchen.
Mom dropped my egg.

I missed the school bus
And ran all the way.
My teacher called out,
“No recess today!”

I knew five questions.
The rest I just guessed.
My spelling was wrong.
I sure failed that test.

I had no lunch money.
My stomach felt bad.
No hot lunch for me.
The lady looked mad.

I sat on the stairs,
My head on my knees.
The new kid sat down.
“Let’s go climb some

We walked to the park.
We talked all the way.
I made a new friend.
And I’d like to say,

That after all that,
I had a great day.
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Post  Tue, Apr 17 2018, 10:25 pm
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Post  Tue, Apr 17 2018, 11:17 pm
Some beautiful poems were printed in Ami Living Pesach edition written by Sorah Rosenblatt A"H. Very moving.

I don't have patience to type them up now.
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Post  Wed, Apr 18 2018, 12:25 am
I love the poem in the book Mountain Family where the author begs Hashem to save her baby's life.

If you want to read the poem you have multiple options;

A. Buy the book on Amazon

B. Borrow the book from your neighbor or,
C. Wait till I remember whom I gave the book to and then wait again till I type it up.
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Post  Wed, Apr 18 2018, 12:51 am
In honor of Yom Hazikaron, a translation of Natan Alterman's מגש הכסף, The Silver Platter

And the land grows still, the red eye of the sky slowly dimming over smoking frontiers

As the nation arises, Torn at heart but breathing, To receive its miracle, the only miracle

As the ceremony draws near, it will rise, standing erect in the moonlight in terror and joy

When across from it will step out a youth and a lass and slowly march toward the nation

Dressed in battle gear, dirty, Shoes heavy with grime, they ascend the path quietly

To change garb, to wipe their brow
They have not yet found time. Still bone weary from days and from nights in the field

Full of endless fatigue and unrested,
Yet the dew of their youth. Is still seen on their head

Thus they stand at attention, giving no sign of life or death

Then a nation in tears and amazement
will ask: "Who are you?"

And they will answer quietly, "We Are the silver platter on which the Jewish state was given."

Thus they will say and fall back in shadows
And the rest will be told In the chronicles of Israel

Or this one, by S.Y. Agnon

A king of flesh and blood who goes out to war against his enemies
Brings forth his force to kill and to be killed.
There is doubt whether he loves his soldiers
Or whether he does not love his soldiers,
Whether they are important in his eyes
Or whether they are not important in his eyes.
And even if they are important in his eyes,
They are no more important than corpses,
Because the angel of death follows upon their heel to slay them.
And if one is struck down by a blade or a bullet
Or another means of destruction and killed,
Another is set in his place.
And the king ignores his loss.
For the nations of the world are great in number,
And their armies are great in number,
And if one of them is killed,
The king has many to replace him.
But our King,
The King of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He,
Desires life, loves peace and pursues peace,
Loves Israel His people and has chosen us from all the nations,
Not because we are greater in number,
For we are the least in number.
And because He loves us and we are few in number,
Each one of us is as important in His eyes as a whole regiment.
For He does not have many to set in our place.
Thus if one Jew dies (God forbid),
Distress falls upon the regiments of the King,
And a weakening comes to the kingdom of He who is blessed,
For His kingdom lacks one of its regiments
And the greatness of He who is blessed is lessened.
Therefore we pray after the death of each Jew.
Yitgadal ve-yitkadash shemah raba:
May the power of His Name be magnified,
And may no lessening of power come to Him
Who is blessed and sanctified
In the worlds He has created according to His will.
And let us not be in fear for ourselves
But for the glory of His holiness.
Ve-yamlikh malkhutah:
May it be revealed
And may you see His kingdom in its fullness, lacking nothing, God forbid.
Be-hayeikhon uv-yomeikhon uv-hayai de-khol beit Yisrael bimherah uvi-zman kariv:
If His kingdom is revealed in the world,
Then there is peace in the world
And blessing in the world
And song in the world
And much rejoicing in the world
And great consolation in the world
And the holy ones of Israel are beloved in the world
And His greatness continues to be magnified and expanded and not diminished Le-olam.
And if we pray thus for each one who dies,
How much the more so for our dear brothers and sisters
The children of Zion,
The slaughtered ones of the land of Israel,
Whose blood was spilled for the glory of His name
And for His people
And for His land
And for His inheritance.
Every dweller in the land of Israel is one of the company of the King of kings,
The Holy One blessed be He,
Whom the King has appointed as a guard of His palace.
If one of His company is killed,
He does not have others to set in his place.
Therefore, oh our brethren, the whole house of Israel,
Who mourn in this mourning,
We turn our hearts to our Father in Heaven,
The King of Israel and its Redeemer,
And we pray
For ourselves
And for Him:
Yitgadal, ve-yitkadash, shemah raba
Be-alema di vara khiruteh ve-yamlikh malkhuteh,
Ve-yazmah ve-karev meshihei…
That we may be worthy to live and see
With our very eyes,
Oseh shalom bimromav,
That He, who, in His mercies, makes peace in the heavens
Will make peace for us
And for all Israel.
And let us say:
- Translated by Samuel H. Dresner
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Post  Sun, Apr 22 2018, 9:44 am
pause wrote:
Some beautiful poems were printed in Ami Living Pesach edition written by Sorah Rosenblatt A"H. Very moving.

I don't have patience to type them up now.

So here goes:

Don't tell me about
"the full half of the glass,"
"the fragrant rose among the thorns,"
"the dawn that always follows the darkest night,"
"the silver lining around the clouds, so bright,"
Don't bother pointing out "the sweet May flowers"
that bloom and blossom "only after April showers."
It won't wash.
I want a glass all full with good. Half-full need not apply
I want it all good, through and through,
Sorry, Charlie, only the best will do.
Fortunately, because it is all good,
that's what I have.
So do you.
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Post  Sun, Apr 22 2018, 9:48 am
They wait for me, each morning, lined in their proper sequence,
faces shining, mint-new, fresh-created.
They wait for me: all the moments that I'm to encounter through the day.
All the people - most of all, the people,
the lessons I'm to learn,
the tests for me to pass or fail - or
anyhow, to deal with, or somehow to get through.
Each moment talks to me, though some are made to be ignored;
that's their correction and my own.
Let me give each its due focus. Let me
be present for them all,
responding as needed, then to move on.
I used to turn from them, from all the moments.
I used to hide from them under my eiderdown,
there in the dark. Often, I still do, barely
peeking out,
wincing at the light. But now I try to
meet them, greet them,
even if they're fearsome, even if they are hurt.
With Your help, I'm getting better at
meeting moments, moment by moment,
day by day.
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Post  Sun, Apr 22 2018, 9:52 am
"Look!She's started crawling!" her mother says,
placing our first granchild on the floor,
putting a shiny toy just out of reach.
Sure enough, eyes focused on the toy,
she rises on one dimpled knee, inches
forward carefully.
Around her, a circle of giants -
grandparents, uncles, aunts, -
ooh and aah. We startle her.
Toy forgotten, she sits back, shifts her gaze
to this strange ring of relatives.
"Oh, dear!" her mother says,
At home, she crawls so beautifully!"
Never mind. May she always care, and be more aware
of people than of toys.
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Post  Sun, Apr 22 2018, 9:59 am
A photograph she showed me -- my aunt-by-marriage --
taking it from a bureau drawer of polished mahogony
holding it so carefully
A photograph, black and white
A family at their seder table before the holiday
before they sent her off to distant relatives
in distant lands
A family at a Seder table,
stout matrons smiling, men unsmiling
girls with thick braids, boys with round cheeks...

You would think, wouldn't you, that between the two --
I mean, between the solid, stolid, that so-sturdy family in the photograph,
and between the photograph itself --
you would think, wouldn't you,
that it would have been the photo that was less likely to survive?
You would think, wouldn't you?
Wouldn't you? I'm asking you
(I mean, what's a photograph? A scrap of paper?
One match would turn it into ashes.)

For half a century and more,
my aunt has kept that photo
in her bureau drawer --
that scrap of paper
that isn't ashes.
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Post  Sun, Apr 22 2018, 10:04 am
Now, flowers,
they don't ask any questions.
They don't ask, as seeds,
Why am I locked from light,
destined, doomed to darkness?
Why do I rot here, mired deep in mud?
Why am I so small, so nothing, so alone?
Why must I keep pushing ever upwards?
Why are there so many worms and bugs?

Breaking through the soil,
into the light, into warm sunshine and fresh air,
they don't ask,
Why am I so lowly?
Is this the reason for my struggle, for my pain?
Is this all there is?

Budding, blooming, as their leaves unfold,
They don't ask,
Why must this take so long?
Tiny petal by tiny petal, tiny leaf by leaf?

In full bloom, they don't ask,
Why are other flowers taller, stronger,
more fragrant, more richly, brightly hued?

When bees buzz round, flowers do not ask,
Who are you to drain me of my sweetness?
Where are you taking everything that's mine?

When winter comes, they don't ask,
Why must my lovely colors fade?
Why must my pretty petals fall away?
Why must I wilt and droop?
Why was my time so fleeting?
Why must all things, and I, too, die?

No, flowers --
they don't ask questions.
They just grow.
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Post  Sun, Apr 22 2018, 10:08 am
Mommy is slipping away
For ninety-six, she's, thank G-d, fine
But how fine can that be?

My husband falls asleep at the table,
like his late father used to do all those years ago.
Where is the smooth-cheeked boy I married?

I, too
move carefully
these days
or I get dizzy

A dear friend once described a dangerous birth:
"The doctors told me I had one foot in the Next World
and the other on a banana peel"
Alas, that dear friend, too, is gone

From birth, we teeter-totter, each, on that banana peel
Ever slipping away
and towards
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Post  Sun, Apr 22 2018, 10:11 am
"Did you rest? he asks, expectantly.
(Here's what I answer me): True, it was quieter with them out of the house.
But mothers never really rest.
From the second you're a mother, you're changed forever.
Sounds you never noticed -- a sudden screech,
a cry, a call -- "Mommy!" a thump
now make you jump. (Silence is the scariest of all.)

Still, only another Mom
could understand in any way.
So: "Yes! Thank you so much!
It was just wonderful!" I say.
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Post  Sun, Apr 22 2018, 10:16 am
The frogs in Egypt jumped even into the ovens,
so eager were those frogs to do His Will.
Moses had to shout to make them stop.
The wild animals also did His Will,
but not with so much eagerness, self-sacrifice.
I thought of why:
If you're a lion -- mighty, maned,
a tiger -- muscled, powerful,
you know you're really something.
But what are frogs ever, in their lifetimes?
Slimy, warty, lowly, squat, hideous, croaky-voiced.
The only power granted them's to jump.
And so they jumped and jumped to do His Will --
the one and only chance they had
of doing, being, anything.
And if you ask me how I know...
I know.
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Post  Sun, Apr 22 2018, 10:25 am
"Your children shall be like olive saplings,
'round about your table...."
(Tehillim 128:2)
Friday night.
Our oldest "sapling" argues
loud as he is able
with Sapling Two, across the Shabbas table.
Sapling Three is fooling with her hair.
Sapling Four keeps tipping back her chair.
Darling little Sapling Five
is being too obnoxious to describe.
Sapling Six (again) needs his laces tied.
As the youngest tender sap-
ling climbs upon his mother's lap,
and she rocks him on her knees,
she thinks, One day, they'll all be tall trees --
proud and fruitful, strong and able,
with many saplings 'round their table.
At times with all those sapling-trees
crowding 'round about her knees,
she loses
sight of what will be.
But at other times, she sees:
Majestic forests destined to spring forth
from these...
and these...
and these...
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Post  Sun, Apr 22 2018, 10:27 am
May any inspiration you glean from these poems be l'illui nishmasa.
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Post  Sun, Apr 22 2018, 8:24 pm
I read this one as a preteen in one of Madeline L'Engel's books and loved it.

If thou couldst empty all thyself of self,
Like to a shell dishabited,
Then might He find thee on the Ocean shelf,
And say — "This is not dead," —
And fill thee with Himself instead.

But thou art all replete with very thou,
And hast such shrewd activity,
That, when He comes, He says — "This is enow
Unto itself — 'Twere better let it be:
It is so small and full, there is no room for Me."
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Post  Sun, Apr 22 2018, 8:28 pm
One Art
The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.
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