Poems for Sorah Rosenblatt’s 1st Yahrzeit

Poems for Sorah Rosenblatt’s 1st Yahrzeit

In honor of the 1st yahrzeit this month of poet Sorah Rosenblatt, Ami Magazine published several pages of her poems. Originally from Washington, DC, Sorah Rosenblatt started becoming religious while she was student at University of Maryland. When she graduated in 1967, she made aliya to Israel, married a Yiddish-speaking Breslover Chassid and lived in Meah Shearim, Sorah was a stay-at-home-mom to her 6 children as well as a writer, the author of the poetry collection Memo to Self.

I didn’t know Sorah, but I have grown to love her through her poetry, which I discovered, sadly, only following her death…Since then, she has become my favorite poet in the world!

THANKS FOR THIS DAY

Thanks for this day, in which nothing
out-of-the-ordinary happened at all:
Shloimy couldn’t find his sandal. Aidey
couldn’t find her math book. My baby
kissed me. I made hotdogs and French
fries for lunch.
The kids did homework, played a game
of cutting and pasting–filled the floor
with scraps. Some neighbors’ kids were
helping. They sang a silly song. Feigy
made egg salad sandwiches, and they
went to the park. Meanwhile, I got some
ironing done.
A breeze blew in, birds sang,
the sky was blue, the clouds were white.
And oh, I know that nothing I
could ever do or say or write would ever,
ever be enough to thank You for one
second’s sweetness of this ordinary day.

THE FOREST, FOR THE TREES

“Your children shall be like olive saplings,
’round about your table…”
(Psalms 128:2)
Friday night.
Our oldest “sapling” argues
loud as he is able
with Sapling Two, across the Shabbos
table.
Sapling Three is fooling with her hair.
Sapling Four keeps tipping back her
chair.
Darling little Sapling Five
is being too obnoxious to describe.
Sapling Six (again) needs his laces tied.
As the youngest tender sap-
ling climbs upon his mother’s lap,
and she rocks him on her knees,
she thinks, One day, they’ll be tall trees–
proud and fruitful, strong and able,
with many saplings ’round their table.
At times with all those sapling-trees
crowding ’round about her knees,
she loses
sight of what will be.
But at other times, she sees:
Majestic forests destined to spring forth
from these…
and these…
and these…

NONE OF THE ABOVE

“Mommy?”
Out of the dark,
a tiny, tinny voice squeaks up.

“Yes? What is it Aryeh, Leib?
Did your quilt fall off the bed?
Do you want another drink?
Should I turn the night light on?
Are you too warm?
Too cold?
Or…?”
“Hug me!” squeaks the tiny, tinny voice.

I pick him up; I hug him tight.
I say, “It’s time to say good night!
You are the very best little boy
in the whole, wide…”
But he’s already slipped beneath his quilt
into sweet dreams.

HAIKU

What’s the most important mitzvah?
Someone said:
The one you’re doing now

DEPRIVED

When they play Jewish
Geography, it’s got nothing to do
with me.
“Oh, you’re from Detroit? You
must know my Tante Perel!”
“You’re from Netanya? I knew
your Zeide Berel!”
“I know who you are! I know
your mother!
Her second cousin married my
uncle’s brother!”
“Your sister taught me in Sem!”
Such a great game for them!
Poor them!
They have frum parents, relatives,
Teachers, friends tried and true,
while I have no one
but You!

You can read more poems by Sorah Rosenblatt here and here.

12 comments

  1. i read the collection in Ami Magazine over Pesach and also found that she is now my “favorite” poet. I have spotted her writings amongst Sarah Shapiro’s collections and was always struck by how close to my life experiences her poems were…. how did she get in my head? I don’t remember seeing her there…

    and i always say that i don’t like poetry–what’s wrong with just saying it straight out in plain ole prose? sorah rosenblatt has shown me that i may be wrong on that one…

  2. Thank you so much for posting this. My favorite one is oh flowers, they just grow. I have it hung up in my room.

    I had the big zchus to know Sorah towards the end of her life. I relish those memories.

  3. Omg, the forest for the trees is going on my kitchen wall! What a fabulous collection. I love it :). She should continue to inspire us and our mitzvot should be l’iluy nishmata…

  4. I love these poems. Is there anywhere to find her work? A book? Do you have a link?

    • JewishMom

      she wrote a book called “memo to self” put out by targum, but now out of print…

  5. For decades, she has been my favorite poet too, even though I never knew her real name until she passed from this world.

  6. I would really love to get a book with her poetry. Anyone know how to get hold of one?

  7. i wonder how much it would cost to do another printing of her book–and possibly add new poems? perhaps it would be a nice idea to fundraise donations from her admirers–new and old–and pay for another printing?

  8. I’m in. I was looking for her book.

Leave a Reply