The Israeli Moshav Mevo Modi’im, founded by Shlomo Carlebach in 1976, has a major artist population, including painters, writers and musicians. Among them, originally hailing from Claremont, Calif., lives poet Chaim Rosenblum with his wife and seven children. We’re featuring three of his works on The Arty Semite today.
The first piece is more than a mere father-and-son poem — it is propelled by the tense juxtaposition of the struggling, shaky voice of the father against the confident, methodical ways of the son. It almost seems that it is the father, not the son, who is inchoate in the world around him.
The second poem, “Monkey House,” refers unambiguously to the Jewish laws of niddah, or family purity, according to which a husband and wife are physically separated for a number of days each month. This ritual, taken for granted in some circles and reviled in others, has perhaps never been described with longing quite as intense as Rosenblum’s.
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