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This poem is taken from PN Review 171, Volume 33 Number 1, September - October 2006.

'Scattering' and Two Poems Elaine Feinstein



Scattering

 1

 In the lands of Sepharad, on the river Tagus:
 a town the colour of biscuit, a long horizon,
 smooth, bare mountains, and beyond
 the desert and a white sliver of moon.

 It is the limestone city of Toledo, where
 the Jews settled after Jerusalem
 – silversmiths, traders, basket makers, scholars –
 and Spain at first was happy to receive them.
 In a Golden Age of restored hope:
 houses were built with fountains in the courtyard;
 men in their book-lined studies were translators
 who brought the Greeks through Arabic to Europe.

 But when they had to leave, with frightened eyes,
 they bartered a house for a donkey,
 a vineyard for a piece of cloth,
...


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