A Poem for Tisha B’Av

At our Tisha B’Av service last night, we read several contemporary poems alongside the traditional chanting of Lamentations.  Here is one:

Try To Praise The Mutilated World

Try to praise the mutilated world.
Remember June’s long days,
and wild strawberries, drops of wine, the dew.
The nettles that methodically overgrow
the abandoned homesteads of exiles.
You must praise the mutilated world.
You watched the stylish yachts and ships;
one of them had a long trip ahead of it,
while salty oblivion awaited others.
You’ve seen the refugees heading nowhere,
you’ve heard the executioners sing joyfully.
You should praise the mutilated world.
Remember the moments when we were together
in a white room and the curtain fluttered.
Return in thought to the concert where music flared.
You gathered acorns in the park in autumn
and leaves eddied over the earth’s scars.
Praise the mutilated world
and the grey feather a thrush lost,
and the gentle light that strays and vanishes
and returns.

– Adam Zagajewski (translation: Renata Gorczynski )

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2 Comments on “A Poem for Tisha B’Av”

  1. L M Rosen says:

    Thank you for sharing a balanced poetic comment on our contemporary world to give us some comfort after reading about the ongoing tragedies reported in our media.

  2. Ruth Rosen says:

    Brant, Thanks for some healing thoughts. It is truly a mutilated world, and the poetry is like balm. Ruth Rosen


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