Poignant and Moving,
14 Aug 2013
Book Title: Home
Poetry and prose by authors: Zeel Kachel and Uvi Poznansky
Zeev Kachel, son of a Russian Jewish family, was born in 1912, on the eve of the First World War. When German declared war on August 1, 1914 and its army marched into Russia, his parents bundled him and his sister into the wagon, leaving behind their store and worldly belongings, to escape for the lives.
"Ma, why did you fool me," Zeev was still bleeding as 70 years later his pen dripped "We Were Born in Darkness",
"what was it for,
When you sang me a lullaby, not a song of war?
Oh why did you hide the fateful truth from me
We were born in darkness, our life--not to be?"
Welcome to the poetry world of Zeev, beautifully rendered into English by his daughter Uvi Poznansky. He was a man of passion with the ability to capture it in his work, as Uvi aptly calls it. You can't but be emotionally affected by Zeev's powerful laments of loss. Of a child after his mother has departed,
"I had travelled to a place so alien, so cold
How bitter it had felt, to you I never told.
How you waited to receive a word from me, a letter..."
I feel a very special connection to Zeev. To me his moving words provoke long-forgotten memories, tucked away because they were too painful to remember, or to share. I could just imagine his agony as he wrote,
"You're asking me to record, on paper to pour
All that I lost, my esteemed counselor?"
And bravely he wrote, and wrote and wrote and wrote. Of very beautiful things that are only beautiful while they last, "Lie to me boldly, don't misgive"
Poetry is cruel honesty--and here is Zeev baring his soul, driving us to share his pain of the well-captured memories,
"For that lost moment, how I pine!"
of his confusion,
"Is this really the path I envisioned?
Then why is the night here so black?"
And yet even as he anguished over his loneliness, "In a night with not a friend, all's bleary," his daughter had understood him. His lucky daughter, in whom he has carved: "I am a poem, I inspire"