I see groups of friends gathered over four cups of wine, matzah, and simple food, talking about what is oppressing us and brainstorming about how to counter it.
Esther Cameron is a poet, essayist, translator and editor living in Ma’ale Adumim. She is editor-in-chief of The Deronda Review (www.derondareview.org) and also has a multifaceted website, www.pointandcircumference.com. She has published translations of Paul Celan, Hamutal Bar-Yosef, Reuven Ben-Yosef, and Ruth Blumert. Her own books include Fortitude, or The Lost Language of Justice: Poems in Israel's Cause (Bitzaron Books, 2009) and Western Art and Jewish Presence in the Work of Paul Celan (Lexington Books, 2014). She recently published her Collected Works, including literary criticism, memoirs, shorter poems and an epic, under her imprint Of the Essence Press. You can visit Esther's blog at: https://esthercameron.weebly.com/blog
Recent articles by Esther Cameron
And on this Pesach, may the mouth speak light.
Of course it’s possible I’m crazy. / It’s also possible that sanity / Is what is killing us.
The fact that so many people don’t even see the use of poetry any more should be seen as a danger sign, no less than global warming.
Again the ancient compass of our trade,
each other to a life before unknown.
What ARE we if not eccentric?
And G-d / said, / Where is Man, / your brother?
No less than the Maccabees, we are in a struggle today. And the front is not only on our borders; it is between the inner self, the tselem elokim, and the electronic media that invade our homes, and use us far more than we use them.
“I will take for my hero a genius who has made a fortune in computers. He came from a pious Jewish background, of course he no longer keeps the mitzvot, but before he got off the straight path he learned something. I’ll have him do teshuvah.”
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), one of the finest American poets, lived most of her life as a recluse in the house of her parents. and published almost nothing during her lifetime. But she communicated with friends through intense, vivid letters and is said to have sent poems to neighbors with bread or flowers from her garden.
I always have been on the Internet.
I’ve always, always had you in my head.
In the yeshiva on the mountainside
We gather to entreat the Lord of all
Modern Israel’s greatest philosopher, Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaKohen Kook, once wrote: “Literature, which pokes into every corner where there is poetry and life, has not penetrated at all into the marvelous treasure of life that is repentance.” Yael Shahar’s Returning, based on a true story but crafted with literary skill, seems meant to fit into that gap.
We need to return to the Jewish definition of progress as “whatever advances the redemption of humankind and the world.”
“This is a world war between the culture of Israel and the culture of Edom.”
Apparently someone thought that it would be easier for a parent to remember their smartphone than to remember not to leave their child to die in a locked car.
Yes, the evil Israelis again have upset
The world — shot civilians who’d peacefully met
To throw stones, cut wires, send kites to burn farms
and turn to the nations a pure language
that will not call good evil and evil good.
POETRY IN THE DAYS OF SEFIRAH The 49 days between Pesach and Shavuot are traditionally a time for introspection, recapitulating the purification which the Israelites needed to undergo after being taken out of Egypt in order to receive the Torah. It is said that in Egypt the Israelites had passed through “forty-nine gates of tumah” (uncleanness); Read more