Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sad News: Rochelle Ratner

Unfortunately, I've learned from the blog One Poet's Notes of the death of Rochelle Ratner. Ms. Ratner was known throughout the poetry world, small press and large. Many of her poems may be found at her homepage. In addition, she was a prolific critic, one I often counted on for insightful reviews in trade publications such as Library Journal when working my day job. She contributed a poem to Lilliput Review, #128.

That poem, which follows, chronicles a visit to Vad Vashem in Jerusalem. There is a great sadness, a powerful emotion conveyed in this short little poem of an American poet in Jerusalem, visiting a remembrance museum of her people. The poem speaks for itself and her discerning talent.

On Walking Away From Yad Vashem

In the eyes of those I'm with
this land can't be home to me:

I don't plant trees,
I don't lay stones down.
I have not come to visit the dead.

We, too, now share her sadness, but today it is for a very different reason.

Rochelle Ratner, Dec. 2, 1948 - March 31, 2008

- Don

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