Mood Poetry For the Three Weeks

by Yossi Huttler

[Editor’s note: I am once again going to indulge my weakness for the poetry of Yossi Huttler. It is hard to get through Kinos without mourning for the lost art of responding to poetry as an evocative language. The various authors of the kinos took for granted that their audiences would be moved through meter, alliteration and assonance. We react to them by glancing at our watches, and counting off the minutes till the ordeal is over. Perhaps appreciating some contemporary frum poetry can give us a glimpse of how kinos once touched every reader’s soul.

I am leaving intact the comments of the poet.]

The first poem concerns inyana d’yoma inasmuch as the Shoah is a part of what we mourn during the Three Weeks:


at the far end
of the prozdor
on the lip
of a self-dug grave
or the doorway
to a gas chamber
stripped of all
between them
and their Creator
as at birth
souls ready
to tread
the next step

About the second poem: After talking last week to a friend who recently turned thirty while still unmarried, during which conversation I recalled my own dating experiences before marrying at 32, I found myself inspired to compose this poem:

. . . by you too (Singles’ Lament)

I try not to
keep counting
the “Ihm Yirtzeh Hashem by you”-s
that well-meaning
when they know or don’t
know what to say
after all their questioning
has convinced them
not who
I am

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