Baker Academic

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Poem I Love - Le Donne

I don't know poetry well enough to have an opinion that matters. But I was a founding member of the "Wood Shed Society" during my university days. This was an elite group of five college students who met for midnight poetry readings once a week for a couple years. So I have a bit of street cred in the Vancouver area, at least.

I was recently given a copy of Stephanie Barbé Hammer's wonderful collection of poems How Formal? I don't mind saying that some of these poems are breathtaking. I particularly like a poem called "Ars Judaica" which provides several windows into conversion experience - in this case, conversion to Judaism. This is something that I know nothing about. Really quite gripping. Here is a poem that I love:


Torah Bones

cradled for the first time in these arms
there is a clicking of sticks
a soft settling of joints

all ribs, spines, and shanks
this curious body's ungainly
cumbersomely easy to hold
ancient child
whose flesh is


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  1. Thank you so much for reading, commenting on, and kindly reposting this poem! I'm thrilled that "Torah Bones" works for you and that you are experiencing HOW FORMAL? as a good read. Thank you again!

    1. Thank you for this wonderful book, Stephanie!