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We Have a Poetry Contest Winner!

Read Susan Comninos’ poem

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It’s the penultimate day of National Poetry Month, which means today is Poem in Your Pocket Day in New York City! Many are celebrating by carrying a favorite poem in … well, you can probably guess where.

Earlier this month, we asked our readers to get in touch with their inner 11th century poet and reimagine so-called “poet laureate of the Jewish people” Yehuda Halevi‘s words. And today, we’re proud to announce the winner: Susan Comninos, whose poem you can enjoy below. And then later, maybe put it in your pocket?

Congratulations, Susan!

“Can I do what I’ve vowed to and must?”
– Yehuda Halevi


Thou shalt not
bear the winds higher
than they would blow. Thou shalt never

prick halls of glass
with a bow and arrow. Thou shalt fail
to sway the sky

with the ceiling, stone
through the floor, leaves
with feeling – the dense weight

of a dank heart. Thou
shalt entertain no note
without instruments, sloth

without toil – sweat from strong languor.
Thou shalt not stroke
wood of others’

baseboards, nor
bewail banisters
to a barren house. Thou

shalt bring in bees
from the hive, swear
allegiance to their stings – sing alone

of a scant
incandescence: of a lion’s
fraught den, and no honeyed signs.

-Susan Comninos

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Gittie Rom says:


alex/a says:

i dont consider this poetry…. no one talks like this
were up and coming poets in east LA

Edwin Yosef Vogt says:

The Jews Of Dubnow

Suddenly, like the last wisp of smoke,

Trailing and fading from a chimney-top,

They were gone: the Jews of Dubnow.

A silence like the stir-less leaves

In the shadows of the deep woods

Hangs heavy in the village streets.

Silent as bells without clappers

Or mirthless stones in the dried-up brook.

Shafts of light stream the Holy place;

The silence comingling with dust.

So silent, like turnless pages,

Or peasants making the sign of the cross.

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We Have a Poetry Contest Winner!

Read Susan Comninos’ poem

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