December 15, 2006

Poetry Friday I

Today, a poem for Hannukah, by one of Canada's foremost poets, A.M. Klein. Abraham Moses Klein was born in Ukraine in 1909 and emigrated to Montreal with his family the following year.

by A.M. Klein (1909-1972)

My father bequeathed me no wide estates;
No keys and ledgers were my heritage;
Only some holy books with yahrzeit dates
Writ mournfully upon a blank front page -

Books of the Baal Shem Tov, and of his wonders;
Pamphlets upon the devil and his crew;
Prayers against road demons, witches, thunders;
And sundry other tomes for a good Jew.

Beautiful: though no pictures on them, save
The scorpion crawling on a printed track;
The Virgin floating on a scriptural wave,
Square letters twinkling in the Zodiac.

The snuff left on this page, now brown and old,
The tallow stains of midnight liturgy -
These are my coat of arms, and these unfold
My noble lineage, my proud ancestry!

And my tears, too, have stained this heirloomed ground,
When reading in these treatises some weird
Miracle, I turned a leaf and found
A white hair fallen from my father's beard.

UPDATE: Kelly at Big A little a has the round-up here. Thanks, Kelly, and happy holiday wishes!

1 comment:

Selva said...

Nicely posted