Poetry

Catullus Cover

Winner of the 2016 Poetry Vine Award for Canadian Jewish Literature.

“Enjoyable, readable, fresh.” – The Jury

In 1968 Isaac Bashevis Singer was asked by The Paris Review what he thought about the future of the novel. He was optimistic. But he did concede that poetry was in trouble. He actually went so far as to say that in the twentieth century poetry “became bad.” In his view poetry became bad because poets stopped caring whether their work was interesting or even possible to be understood.

Catullus’s Soldiers, my first collection of poems, was released by Cormorant Books in April 2015. You’ll have to judge for yourself, but with the poems in the collection I’ve tried my best to be understood at least and, wherever possible, interesting!

Here’s a sample poem from the collection:

CRAFT

I tend to my crazy aunt

living in the attic.

Quietly, unobtrusively,

I climb the stairs to bring her

food and water.

I spend time with her

between meals

or when nothing else

is going on.

Half an hour here,

twenty minutes there.

I don’t go every day.

When I go I don’t tell anyone.

I regret the time I steal

from my wife and children.

I dream of the day

when my aunt combs her knotted hair,

wears her well-wrought clothes,

speaks in complete sentences,

and I can take her with me

into the living room

and introduce her to the visitors

whom she will charm

with stories of her life.

On that day I will take her

for long walks in crowded streets

and will talk about her

to anyone who asks.

Until that day,

I climb the stairs quietly.

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