Biography of Chana Bloch
Chana Bloch (born March 15, 1940, Bronx, NY) is an American poet, translator, and scholar. She is a professor emerita of English at Mills College in Oakland, California.
Bloch earned her B.A. from Cornell University, her M.A. degrees in Judaic Studies and English literature from Brandeis University, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of California at Berkeley. She taught at Mills College for over thirty years and directed their Creative Writing Program. Bloch has held residencies at the Bellagio Center for Scholars and Artists, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. She has given lectures and poetry readings at numerous U.S. colleges and universities.
Bloch has published four collections of her poetry: The Secrets of the Tribe, The Past Keeps Changing, Mrs. Dumpty and Blood Honey. Her work has been published in The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, The Nation and included in Best American Poetry, The Pushcart Prize and other anthologies. She is the poetry editor of Persimmon Tree, an online journal of the arts by women over sixty.
Chana Bloch Poems
The Color Green
Two floors up, at the corner of Hearst and Shattuck, he's clamped for good in an iron lung. When it's time to eat
We're trying to strike a match in a matchbook that has lain all winter under the woodpile: damp sulphur on sodden cardboard.
Sometimes I Want To Sink Into Your Body
Sometimes I want to sink into your body with the fever that spikes inside me to be a woman who can open a man.
The Sixth Age
Words slip from me lately like cups and saucers from soapy hands. I grope for the names of things
I hung my wedding dress in the attic. I had a woolen shoulder to lean against,
When I was the Baba Yaga of the house on my terrible chicken legs, the children sat close on the sofa as I read,
1 We speak too fast. The child sits at our table, waiting his turn. The clock points a sharp finger. The daily
There was a ghost at our wedding, the caterer's son, who drowned that day.
for my father You and I used to talk about Lear and his girls (I read it in school,
The Discipline Of Marriage
My mother said what she thought. If my father looked up from the paper to inquire, sotto voce, where the hell anyone would get such a dumb idea,
Through a Glass
On the crown of his head where the fontanelle pulsed between spongy bones, a bald spot is forming, globed and sleek as a monk's tonsure.
Flour and Ash
"Make flour into dough," she answers, "and fire will turn it into food. Ash is the final abstraction of matter. You can just brush it away."
1 FAT is the soul of this flesh. Eat with your hands, slow, you will understand
We remember the rabbit when we see the duck, but we cannot experience both at the same time
Apprehended and held without trial,
our friend was sentenced:
brain tumor, malignant.
Condemned each day to wake
Overnight, a wall sprang up around him,
leaving the rest of us