Monday, February 23, 2009

One more offering

[This sonnet first appeared in 1999 to mark the 90th anniversary of Klein's birth. The central metaphor is a wedding, since Klein's poetic entreprise and his modus operandi was to marry two worlds; the traditional and the modern, English and French, Jewish and Gentile, the Holyland and the Diaspora, Jerusalem and Montreal.]


North of the former Yiddish theatre, gate
and railing perform; mimic, pirouette, soar -
black twists of wrought-iron do Hasid horas
to storied heights, they serif-stretch, punctuate
the urban sprawl like ketubbah-script, ornate;
Obscured through white veil of snow, the bridled doors
and porches seem like rows of peddler horses.
The Main is dowry, or else bequeathed estate
immemorial. Here, Abraham Moses
was wedded to his past, imbibed lush doses
from an heirloom kiddush-cup. Ever the proud
bridegroom, and linguistically well-endowed,
he vowed his eternal soul true and loyal
under raised cross-peaked chuppah of Mount-Royal.

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