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by alongtheserivers
Mar 04, 2013 | 6024 views | 1 1 comments | 45 45 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Hello Poetry Lovers,

Reporting on an outstanding event held February 21 by the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh.  The evening was multi-faceted: at trendy Tamari Restaurant in Lawrenceville, there was delicious food, drink, inter-generational mingling--(although mostly the young and cool/hip meeting up with the fewer mature but gracious) - stimulating visual and literary art programming, lots of fun as well as serious purpose.

Kara Ruth Snyder, of the young/cool/hip generation, presented several of her remarkable paintings, including "Painting for Patrick" which graces the cover of the poetry chapbook "The Blue Heart," authored by me--one of the mature celebrants.  The buzz over Kara's paintings resonated throughout the night, as did her "artist's talk," -- the insight she offered about the inspiration she felt in order to produce the art, which included her passion for Israel, as experienced during the Mission to Israel trip she took last June.

Ours was a collaboration, in the truest sense. Kara's painting captured the emotional intensity as well as the imagery of the Holocaust-related poetry included in "The Blue Heart."    The message of the art as well as the writing is the same: now, more than ever, as the survivors reach the end of their lives, the lessons of the Holocaust must be taught, must be reinforced, must never be forgotten. To the terrible truth of the destruction of European Jewry, now must be added another fact: an army of deniers lies in wait, ready to try to rewrite history. This must not be allowed to happen. That is our charge and our obligation as the children and grandchildren of the Holocaust survivors: To Never Forget.

In that spirit, here is "The Shock That Went Away," one of the poems in "The Blue Heart."

Once there was a shock

so fierce it forced

shame on all who owned it.

It was foul---a dark, filthy rag

they could not lose.

Because there are no words,

there can be no poems,

the people said.         

So they hid the ugly shock

deep within busy, useful shadows

while Time,

that winged beast,

came flying in and out.

Time found the hidden shock

& pecked & pecked

until it broke down into

smaller & smaller shabby scraps

they could not be rid of by tossing

in the air or spreading around.

Some kindly passersby bore witness...

heads nodding, eyes watering,

but no one wanted the shock,

no one wanted the shame.

So the people grew old and sick.

The shock piled in books and papers

until shreds of it were buried with them. 

Then, one after another,

bearing torches and ashes,

the deniers came.              


"The Blue Heart," is dedicated to the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh, and to the memory of Dora and Israel Iwler, courageous, heroic survivors of the Holocaust.

The book can be purchased by calling The Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh, 412-421-1500; price is $10, which is a gift to the Holocaust Center.  

Thanks for clicking in. xo Judy      


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March 03, 2013
What an eloquent tribute and plea for the importance of keeping memory alive. Was reading some others of the poems in The Blue Heart, and what strikes me most is that Israel is the miracle. Love the poem "At the Galilee" especially. Thank you.