Triptych

By Samuel Menashe 1925–2011 Samuel Menashe
When my mother                     She who is not               All at once
Was a young girl                     Who she was                  I could see
Before the War                        Waits to be                     My mother
Reading sad books                  Yet she is                        In eternity
By the river                            Already                           I told her
Sometimes, she                      Mother                            She always
Looked up, wisely                   Whose child                      Would be
But did not dream                   Though not yet                The one
The day I would                      Could not be                   Whose son
Be born to her                        An other                         You see

Samuel Menashe, “Triptych” from Samuel Menashe: New and Selected Poems, edited by Christopher Ricks, published by The Library of America, 2005. Copyright © 2004 by Samuel Menashe. Used by permission of the author.

Source: Samuel Menashe: New and Selected Poems (The Library of America, 2005)

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Poet Samuel Menashe 1925–2011

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Family & Ancestors, Relationships

 Samuel  Menashe

Biography

Samuel Menashe earned acclaim as the creator of numerous compact and precise poems. His first American volume, No Jerusalem But This, was praised by Stephen Spender for "language intense and clear as diamonds." Spender declared that Menashe "can compress an attitude to life that has an immense history into three lines."

To Open, Menashe's 1974 collection, impressed Christian Science Monitor critic Victor Howes with its . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Family & Ancestors, Relationships

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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