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NaPoWriMo – Favorite Poems from Just Poet Members – April 16

David Michael Nixon:  from In Memoriam: 1933 by Charles Reznikoff

“This Charles Reznikoff poem is one of my favorite poems.  Its powerful, plain language uses two similes to compare “other people” to “we Jews”, using the nature imagery of “streams” and “dew”.  I enjoy the way it portrays the Jews as nonviolent, trodden-on, yet still going on, still “here” in  a voice that suggests their calm, strong persistence.  Would that both Jews and other people were always…. “as the dew,/on every blade of grass,/trodden under foot today/and here tomorrow morning.”

His title is a number, in this case, “1”

Let other people come as streams

that overflow a valley

and leave dead bodies, uprooted trees and fields of sand;

We Jews are as the dew,

on every blade of grass,

trodden under foot today

and here tomorrow morning.

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