A Poetry Comparison


All the world's great poetry has not yet been written, there have been the masters of the past who have addressed all the basics of life: all that matters, and all that does not change. Such a poet was the genius, William Shakespeare.

So because this is a very beautiful early summer day, and my thoughts are on those matters that have always been with us, such as love, and mortality, i offer you a poem that addresses these eternal subjects. I think you will enjoy reading it, as i have.

Sonnet XV111
Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date;
Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometimes declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st;
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

—William Shakespeare

Shakespeare used the the power of his pen as an antidote to mortality. He believed in the beauty of the creature he is addressing; in this poem he proves his point: she remains right there for us, as he promised.

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*AI is artificial intelligence

Read more: The Jewish Chronicle - entry A POETRY COMPARISON

Poetry and Painting


Hi Poetry Lovers,

It seems to be a right brain fact: many of us who write also paint or play an instrument, or engage in other creative activities, on all levels, amateur to professional. this includes actors, craftpersons, gardeners, playwrights, doodlers, etc. There are legions of human beings who express themselves creatively.

One outstanding poet/artist of the past was William Blake, an Englishman who lived from 1757 until 1827. Blake wrote and illustrated his poetry books; he also was a songwriter and engraver. Although under-appreciated in his own time, he is today held in high regard for his expressiveness, as well as the mystical undercurrents in his work. He was an early romantic, that is, his work preceded the romantic poetry movement (1798-1837) but very much influenced it.

Below is a link to an illustrated version of one his most famous poems. written early in the 18th century, it is still taught and read today.


And here is the poem:

The Tiger

Tiger, Tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes!
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears
And water'd heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, Tiger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

— William Blake

I have been deeply influenced by Blake.

Now for a "plug"——

As are many others here, Pittsburgh has been a subject for painting as well as poems. I am very pleased that this month, July, 2017,  my work is on display at the Square Cafe, 1137 S. Braddock Ave, 15218. (open every day from 7 am til 3 pm, they serve great food).

Thanks for indulging this bit of self promotion! for your pleasure, here is something with a fond reference to our city by a wonderful poet from Pittsburgh:


There was a great tenderness to the sadness
when I would go there. She knew how much
I loved my wife and that we had no future.
We were like casualties helping each other
as we waited for the end. Now I wonder
if we understood how happy those Danish
afternoons were. Most of the time we did not talk.
Often I took care of the baby while she did
housework. Changing him and making him laugh.
I would say Pittsburgh softly each time before
throwing him up. Whisper Pittsburgh with
my mouth against the tiny ear and throw
him higher. Pittsburgh and happiness high up.
The only way to leave even the smallest trace.
So that all his life her son would feel gladness
unaccountably when anyone spoke of the ruined
city of steel in America. Each time almost
remembering something maybe important that got lost.

— JACK GILBERT  (1925-2012)

Thanks for clicking in! 
xo Judy

Read more: The Jewish Chronicle - entry POETRY AND PAINTING

The Struggle for Faith


Hello Poetry Lovers,

Today I'd like to share a new poem that has just been accepted for publication in " THIRD WEDNESDAY," a literary magazine from Ypsilanti, Michigan. Their website is www.thirdwednesday.org.

I rarely offer one of my own poems on this blog, for several reasons, among them, the fact that matters relating to my Jewish faith and heritage are just one of several different themes in my work. Of course a Jewish sensibility probably colors everything I do, including my writing. This is perhaps true, and definitely arguable.

Here's the poem:

 Prayer Against Tramping On Angels

To enter the garden
of the sacred and blind;
to savor the sharp-cut
orange melon, the dark grape
that sugars the breath of the men
who sway and who chant;

To hear the sage to whom they bend,
whispering before them,
old and curled in a white
silk-fringed shawl,
to kiss the fringes, to bend with them;

To recite the prayers for rain,
for oil, for healthy cattle;
to press past this pleading
into my own encumbered
soul for a blessing,
for this is how I am made:

To struggle against the trickster
who lurks beyond the gauze curtain
that hides the girls and the women;
who appears, wide-eyed, toothless,
and hungry, come to tramp down
the temple of angels and laugh.

To fight him, and to win.

  — Judith R. Robinson

My guess is that you, dear reader of this Jewish Chronicle blog post, may recognize the trickster with whom I do battle.

Thanks for clicking in!   
xo  Judy

Read more: The Jewish Chronicle - entry THE STRUGGLE FOR FAITH