PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
Digital Access to PN Review
Access the latest issues, plus back issues of PN Review with Exact Editions For PN Review subscribers: access the PN Review digital archive via the Exact Editions app Exactly or the Exact Editions website, you will first need to know your PN Review ID number. read more
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Monthly Carcanet Books
Next Issue Thomas Kinsella in conversation Jeffrey Wainwright comes to grips with St Chad Hsien Min Toh gives us a Korean perspective Iain Bamforth on Lou and Fritz: Sensible Shoes meets Starstruck Judith Bishop on Love and Self-Understanding in an Algorythmic Age

This poem is taken from PN Review 178, Volume 34 Number 2, November - December 2007.

Two Poems Yvonne Green

Without your Jews

or when they lived among you in secret, it was as if Zmirot
were unsung, Minyanim were ungathered, Smachot were silent,
rites of death were unobserved. As if Kashrut was extinct,
Mikveh was unused, Chagim were voided, the scent of Shabbat
disappeared, of Havdalah was never released. The fasts eaten,
the feasts starved, learning forgotten, knowledge feared.
It was as if a person had two faces or no face or as if his child
didn't know its own smile, his wife didn't speak her own prayers.
Yes there was commerce and medicine and loyalty and fear.
Conversion and reversion and service in a language other
than their own. But your Jews were gone or hidden. Hostages
of darkened reason, which believes calumny and cannot see
what makes a human being. Which cannot listen or watch
or ask questions or make a judgement, which doesn't know

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image