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Old Man's Brother - Poem by gershon hepner

Regard me, one side and the other,
each side is not the other’s brother,
for usually each side’s in hiding
behind my artifice, the siding
which makes my wombhouse weather-proof,
ensuring, if I ever goof,
no insults pour and rain inside
my brain, the attic where I hide.
While all the world looks at my face,
I occupy a different space
than that which surface siding covers,
not even recognized by lovers.

There’s something never I forgot,
just like the poet, Pani Wat,
the child that lived inside me once,
when I, though simple, was no dunce.
“If I forget you, oh my Warsaw! ”
sighed Aleksander. He foresaw
that ultimately everything
would be forgotten, but the spring,
recalling, as it drove him wild,
his youth, an old man’s only child,
because his spirit was excited,
and love appeared to be requited,
in that dim, distant time called youth
when men pursue the goal called truth,
a past whose equanimity
inspired like infinity.

Inspired by Aleksander Wat’s Lead: My Century, Czeslaw Milosz’s The Odyssey of a Polish Intellectual, and The Jews in Polish Culture, by Aleksander Hertz:
this spoken memoir by Aleksander Wat! ''My Century'' is about resilience of human mind and character, about dilemmas of intellectuals in the 20th century, about evil, about historical regressiveness of Communism and the cult of monarchy in the Soviet Union, about the sophistication of the Russian intelligentsia and Russia's barbarism and its people's belief in the occult, about social atomization caused by mendacity and terror, about religiosity, about friendship. This is but a truncated list of subjects weaving through conversations between Aleksander Wat and Czeslaw Milosz, which were taped in Berkeley, Calif., in 1964 and 1965. To be exact, the book is a series of Wat's monologues, which Mr. Milosz occasionally gently points in one direction or another. Aleksander Wat was a poet, and ''My Century'' is a work of art - a rare thing for a book that is basically a sequence of reflections. And yet this text distinctly demands active reading. We are drawn into the conversation and thus made to join the creative process…
Wat's education about Communism, then, came in prison. He met there people from all walks of life, since all of Russia was in jail at the time. His memoir is a tapestry of conversations, character sketches and reflections drawn from the experience. His vast memory and gifts as a raconteur (which, he believes, saved his life in jail, where he earned the respect of the ferocious criminal prisoners to whom he recounted the plots of great novels for hours) , combined with a superior intelligence and a state of spiritual mobilization, have produced coherent and captivating insights into a totalitarian society spawned in the middle of the 20th century. Ever since it was published in 1977 by the Polonia Book Fund in London (and reprinted several times by clandestine independent publishing houses in Poland) , Wat's ''spoken memoir'' has become a landmark work, formative for the historical consciousness of the Poles. I would put it on a shelf in the vicinity of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's ''Gulag, '' so compelling is its testimony and analysis. It is in a similar way irresistible: on completing the book, we cannot help but say to ourselves - so this is how it was.
Aleksander Hertz, who died in 1983, wrote a serious, thoughtful and honest book about the historical experience of Jews in Poland. Only infrequently can we use any of these adjectives with reference to a book on so treacherous a subject. That we can apply all three to describe ''The Jews in Polish Culture'' proves it to be an exemplary accomplishment indeed. Aleksander Hertz was born in 1896 to an eminent Polonized Jewish family. Spiritually, he was a descendant of the Enlightenment. In his intellectual makeup as a sociologist - he taught and wrote in this field in Poland before the Second World War - he resembled the turn-of-the-century founders of the discipline. Commanding several languages and broadly read in the humanities, Hertz wrote with ease on culture, politics and society; his books - several of them written before he immigrated to the United States in 1939 - spanned several centuries of Polish and European history. ''The Jews in Polish Culture, '' written after Hertz was long settled in America and had grown fascinated with his adopted country's melting pot experience of ethnic diversity, is an effort to understand through historical reconstruction his own Jewish milieu, its role and its fate in Polish society. Unlike many authors who have written about the Jewish experience in Europe, Hertz investigates the Jewish and the gentile societies as they interact with each other. He elucidates the castelike position of Jews in Poland: he is curious about the image of the Jew among non-Jews, about the experience of otherness, about the meaning of distance between the dominant society and ethnic minorities. He examines the problem of mutual influence and interpenetrations of Polish and Jewish culture. ''Hertz, '' says Czeslaw Milosz in the foreword, ''belonged to those numerous Poles of Jewish descent whose love of Poland went unrequited.'' Aleksander Hertz's book is a labor of love illuminated by a lucid intellect. Once again, we owe a debt of gratitude to Richard Lourie, who in both of these translations, as in so many others, proves himself to be a most trustworthy custodian of the riches of Polish literature and thought.


9/8/96,6/9/99,3/27/07


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Poems About Brother

  1. 51. Old Man's Brother , gershon hepner
  2. 52. Big Brother Is Always Watching Me , Francis Duggan
  3. 53. Brother , Randy Johnson
  4. 54. Brother, I Remember The Old Games We Play , RIC S. BASTASA
  5. 55. The Four Women Of Your Life Brother , RIC S. BASTASA
  6. 56. Love Your Brother , Michael P. Johnson
  7. 57. Brother Do Not Say I Am Sorry , RIC S. BASTASA
  8. 58. Brother! It Seems To Be An Off-Season , nimal dunuhinga
  9. 59. To A Younger Brother , RIC S. BASTASA
  10. 60. Pray For Me Brother , Aldo Kraas
  11. 61. Oh Brother, Who Knows! , Robert Rorabeck
  12. 62. Big Brother Me? , David Harris
  13. 63. Our Brother Otis , Dorothy (Alves) Holmes
  14. 64. He Is The Friend Who Sticks Closer Than .. , Mary Wismer
  15. 65. The Man Who Took On Big Brother , Francis Duggan
  16. 66. Shine Brother Shine , Aldo Kraas
  17. 67. Peace Brother Peace , Faith Elizabeth Brigham
  18. 68. Sonnet: Dear Doctor Brother , Dr. A.Celestine Raj Manohar ..
  19. 69. Your Envious Brother , samuel nze
  20. 70. Sonnet: Make Peace With Your Brother , Dr. A.Celestine Raj Manohar ..
  21. 71. Brother Martin , Adrian Wait
  22. 72. Hate Not Your Brother , Faith Elizabeth Brigham
  23. 73. Our Big Brother , nimal dunuhinga
  24. 74. My Big Brother , Not Long Left
  25. 75. Relax, Be Cool, My Dearest Brother! , Dr. A.Celestine Raj Manohar ..
  26. 76. Brother To Brother , Miroslava Odalovic
  27. 77. My Brother/My Brother L'ilui Nishmat Ya.. , Shalom Freedman
  28. 78. Bhai-Phonta, Brother-Paste, Symbolic Of .. , Bijay Kant Dubey
  29. 79. Welcome To This Place Where Brother Kill.. , RIC S. BASTASA
  30. 80. Brother Against Brother , Tony Adah
  31. 81. Paris's Second Judgement, Upon The Three.. , Richard Lovelace
  32. 82. My Brother , Marilyn Lott
  33. 83. Being Big Brother , Dónall Dempsey
  34. 84. Oh Brother , David Darbyshire
  35. 85. Sister Sun - Brother Moon , Peter S. Quinn
  36. 86. The Guy I'M Dating Might Be My Brother , Ramona Thompson
  37. 87. To My Brother , Aldo Kraas
  38. 88. The Younger Brother Of Miss. Covet , Muhammad Shanazar
  39. 89. Brother , Atef Ayadi
  40. 90. If God Could Give Us A New Brother? , Aldo Kraas
  41. 91. Brother George , john tiong chunghoo
  42. 92. The Dying Eyelid Of Cain's Unfortunate B.. , Robert Rorabeck
  43. 93. Dear Brother David , DAVID GERARDINO
  44. 94. I Have A Brother , Sylvia Chidi
  45. 95. A Song To My Brother , Dr. A.Celestine Raj Manohar ..
  46. 96. Snapshots Of My Brother , Alison Cassidy
  47. 97. On The Grave Of My Brother , Muhammad Shanazar
  48. 98. Brother Yan , Aldo Kraas
  49. 99. Defeated Brother....! ! , Afzal Shauq
  50. 100. Brother, , Leo Yankevich
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