Tuesday, 24 November 2009


May the Lord in his long silence
      remember all of us.

Last lines of 'Heaven' from the collection The Russian Jerusalem by Elaine Feinstein

I prefer this little couplet in isolation than in context - the 'us' mentioned in the poem could be 'poets' and I don't like the exclusionist overtones of that.  Without the preceding lines, there is an Eliot-like quality to this that rails against and yet is drawn to religious feeling.  The 'Lord' is silent, and long has been, but the prayerful syntax asks for his attention nonetheless.  It is conflicted, which has always seemed to me the most appropriate attitude to religion.

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