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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 11, 2006 / 19 Tishrei, 5767

A poet and don't know it

By Paul Greenberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I now stand accused of committing poetry.


The accusation is made by someone who identifies herself only as the Language Meter Maid. Instead of handing out parking tickets, she prowls the prosaic world looking for inadvertent poems. It must be like searching for sprigs of grass in the cracks of the sidewalk.


The lady stays on the look-out for found poems — writing not meant to be poetry but that is perceived as such by a reader. She claims to have found such a poem in a column of mine. It seems to have sprung up in a reply to someone who said I needed to decide whether I was writing a political or a literary column. The Language Meter Maid rearranged my response and — Voila! — a poem:


Do I have to stay obsessed
with politics all the time?
Could I not come out of my closet?
At night?
Like a vampire,
to delight in the taste and treasure
of the wine-red English tongue?


Modesty should forbid, but here is Language Meter Maid's assessment of the poem she found tucked away in my prose:


"The lack of pretension found in the plain language, the brilliant adjective 'wine-red,' which shines even brighter due to the lack of other adjectives in the poem, and the use of 'tongue' instead of 'language' makes this a marvelous poem."


Goodness. I think I'm in love. Forget about the way to a man's heart being through his stomach; that's a slow and arduous route compared to flattery.


Just lather it on, ladies, and we're yours. (But you already knew that, didn't you?) Talk about the weaker sex — the male of the species has an ego so vast yet so fragile that it requires constant reinforcement.


Nobody need ever know that I, uh, adapted the adjective which so excited the Meter Maid's admiration (wine-red) from a blind old Greek. Please don't call it plagiarism; I prefer to think of it as a literary allusion.


Years ago I had a publisher who was also an editor — E.W. Freeman III of the Pine Bluff Commercial down in the Arkansas Delta. One of the inky wretches he employed for a time, the legendary Patrick J. Owens out of Hungry Horse, Montana, wrote of Ed Freeman that he was "interested in the way a word can sing, in how high a fact can bounce."


It was Ed who brought to my attention a line from an article in Max Ascoli's old Reporter magazine — a fine journal some of us still miss. I remember neither the name nor author of the article, or even its prosaic political subject, but one phrase was perfect poetry:


…the simple sharkskin splendor
of a Beirut business suit.

Talk about a poetic line. I've borrowed it, too, from time to needy time.


A close reading of even political documents can yield a bountiful harvest of found poems, especially if they're speeches and meant to be spoken. See Lincoln's stirring Gettysburg Address:


Fourscore and seven years ago
our fathers brought forth on this continent,
a new nation,
conceived in Liberty,
and dedicated to the proposition
that all men are created equal.

Or the same president's sublime Second Inaugural:

With malice toward none;
with charity for all;
with firmness in the right,
as G-d gives us to see the right….


It is harder to find poetry in political analysis, but it is there in the best, by which I mean Tocqueville. Here is his description — in Volume One, Chapter 8, of "Democracy in America" — of the birth of the U.S. Constitution:


That which is new in the history of societies
is to see a great people,
warned by its lawgivers
that the wheels of government are stopping,
turn its attention on itself
without hate or fear,
sound the depth of the ill,
and then wait two years
to find the remedy at leisure,
and then finally,
when the remedy has been indicated,
submit to it voluntarily,
without its costing humanity
a single tear or drop of blood.


That's what political science raised to poetry sounds like.

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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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© 2006 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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