Kohelet Again It Is Not Just The Vanity Of Vanities - Poem by Shalom Freedman
It is not just the vanity of vanities
It is not just the truth of the contradictions
It is not just ‘a time for this and a time for that'
It is not just ‘Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth before the evil days grow nigh'
It is not just ‘Better a living dog than a dead lion'
It is not just ‘Enjoy your days with the wife of your youth'
It is not just the eternal truths
And the poem of the long home-
And the turning again and again of the wind and the water
And the sun and the sound-
It is not just the sheer beauty of the thing and its words
Despite an occasional archaic ugliness
It is not just the truth that cannot be gone beyond
Because this is what life is and what the grave is and what we are
It is not just too ‘that the making of many books much less the making of many poems is a weariness of the flesh-
It is that after all the years I have arrived at the time
Where the golden bowl may be broken and the voice of the grinders made low
And man return to his eternal home-
As in youth I in old age read and reread the words of the Preacher
And know myself and all of us in them-
Oh the greatest Literature is here
And part of it I repeat in my fragmented self
While the long distance of life goes beyond
In words which will be heard for the first time -
For this too is not everything
And what we do not know yet
Kohelet too does not know-
And for all of us as God permits
Who knows what will come
After the Vanity-
If it is after all Vanity
And the end of it all?
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