A review of Lenore Weiss The Golem Poems of Love, Loss and Being Mortal
by Nina Serrano
Lenore Weiss The Golem: Poems of Love, Loss and Being Mortal is a moving collection of poetry published by Hadassah Word Press. She transports me to where my own wounds of grief and love reside; revealing to me my unfulfilled longings, still flickering but hoping to be at least acknowledged. She offers the reader and perhaps the writer, the courage to go forward.
Although Weiss never backs away from devastation, she utilizes humor throughout “Golem.” Certainly in the remarkable closing section, of this three-part selection called, “Golem.” I expected folklore, perhaps a Jewish version of a leprechaun, fairy, or jinni – but no! This Golem is made of cracker crumbs and cheese and is always ready to mock the poet’s search for the end of loneliness.golem
The last seven Golem poems written with an elegance of form and skill, become a “crown of sonnets” with the last line of one poem becoming the first line of the next.
As in the poem entitled:
“Golem Doesn’t Get Jack” which ends with these lines:
“All I ever had to do was say no.
All shadows in the world are screams…”
The opening lines of the next poem, “Graveler,” begins with the same lines, but goes on to create new meanings.
“All shadows in the world are screams
and like stones plopped in water,
they form consecutive rings…”
Throughout the collection, Weiss juxtapositions the sublime with concrete reality: such as besotted lovers playing at searching in the bushes for used golf balls joined with the image of nearby dogs pooping. The poems focus on love and yet confront issues like AIDS, fleeing refugees, concentration camps. break-ups, death of parents or family crisis. Weiss’ poems don’t pose for the camera but allow life’s blemishes to show, not hiding from life’s disasters. Each poem shoots out roots to the earth’s center, connecting us all in our struggles, joys, and sorrows.