Wednesday 14 July 2021

God's Memory by Gershon Ben-Avraham


I was delighted to receive as a gift, a copy of God's Memory by Gershon Ben-Avraham, whose interesting and thought provoking blog you can read here

This is a beautifully produced pamphlet of 25 poems on topics including the human relationship with nature, lost love, death and grief and spirituality, especially spirituality within the Jewish religious context. The poems are beautifully written, thoughtful and often poignant. The title poem God's Memory, which opens the book is particularly impressive and lingers in the mind.

I read these poems while the Wimbledon tennis tournament was showing on the TV, so the poem Kiddush particularly appealed to me. Kiddush, which means holiness, is the prayer over wine (or grape juice) that sanctifies the Sabbath and holidays. The poem compares the post game drinks and snacks to Kiddush, beautifully highlighting the spiritual element of everyday life. 

Ben-Avraham has a great eye for detail too, I particularly enjoyed this very visual description from More Than a Leash Binds Us:

He finds a stick and gently picks it up, 
waves it like a drum major's baton
as we continue our way home. 

The poem Sparrows in Winter, which features in God's Memory first appeared in Bolts of Silk, the poetry journal I used to edit, you can read it here

If there is a criticism to make, it is that for the non-Jewish reader, a glossary of Jewish terms would be really useful. I had to search the internet to find out the meaning of several words. 

That criticism aside, this is a beautiful book of poetry, with poems that will stay in the memory. 

God's Memory by Gershon Ben Avraham published by Kelsay Books.

1 comment:

Gershon Ben-Avraham said...

Juliet, thank you for reading the book and taking the time to write a review of it. I sincerely appreciate it—all the best, Gershon.