Eyes, Stones

  • Review
By – April 27, 2012

Regard­less of one’s views on the Israel-Pales­tine issue, no one can deny the impor­tance of the fierce dynam­ic affect­ing past, present, and future his­to­ry. Elana Bell’s unique poet­ry invites the read­er to move from thought­ful con­tem­pla­tion to an empa­thy that just might cre­ate some­thing new and life-giv­ing in this volatile Mid­dle East region. We are remind­ed of the cost­ly con­se­quences of Jews acquir­ing their first home in Israel, Because we named the land in blood and ink…we bought this land/​when ash became sky/​and the smell of burning…and now new trees/​grow over the graves…because until the end of the world/​we will scratch out the name.” Or we can pon­der the incon­gruity of an orange grove, per­me­at­ed by a delight­ful fra­grance that is tinged with a mur­der-induc­ing fear, nei­ther ever dis­ap­pear­ing. To Elana Bell as well as to Jews and Pales­tin­ian Arabs, the mem­o­ry of the Holo­caust, along with inces­sant war and threats of war elic­it an appre­ci­a­tion for life and a vibrant state of aware­ness that irrev­o­ca­bly binds lovers and enemies.

Deb­o­rah Schoen­e­man, is a for­mer Eng­lish teacher/​Writing Across the Cur­ricu­lum Cen­ter Coor­di­na­tor at North Shore Hebrew Acad­e­my High School and coed­i­tor of Mod­ern Amer­i­can Lit­er­a­ture: A Library of Lit­er­ary Crit­i­cism, Vol. VI, pub­lished in 1997.

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