Monday, May 20, 2013

appreciating poet Abraham Sutzkever

When I read the poems of Abraham Sutzkever, I experience a sense of quiet awe. He was a poet of unusual depth and quality. A poet whose language was a mode of aesthetic expression and aesthetic suspension of time. 

How to explain those moments of transport and subtle beauty woven into lines that are sometimes dark and tragic? Those moments that fill me with wonder? The ability to write such enhanced language, such profound poetry leaves me flabbergasted. I suppose it's a mystery not to be solved but to be savored.

Sutzkever is the kind of poet who wrote poetry the way poetry wants to be written.

His work means so much to me. 

1913 - 2010

The Fiddle Rose is out of print, but here's a webpage with some of the poems:

Another book of his poetry is A. Sutzkever: Selected Poetry and Prose:

The University of California Press

Here it is from the UC Press E-Books Collection, for free reading:

UC E-Book

Here are some article links about the poet:


NY Times

Tablet Magazine

Yiddish Institute

Here I Am

Here I am, blooming as big as I am,
Stung by songs as by fiery bees.
I heard you call me in the shining dawn
And rushed to you through night and dust and sweat.
Cities and villages tore off from me.
Lightning set thin fire to my old, gray home.
A rain washed away the red traces.
And I stood before your name
As before the blue mirror of conscience.
Like flayed branches, my hands
Rap hastily on your bright door.
My trembling and baffled eyes,
Like two sails, are drawn to you.
Suddenly: the door is open.
You're not there.
Everything's gone.
A poem left behind.
Silly weeping.


1 comment:

  1. An astounding body of work, of which I had not even a glimmer of an idea.