5 Adar 5780/March 2, 2020
Dear friends and fellow poets,
To announce that the 2020 issue
Of The Deronda Review is now online.
Our theme this time was "Building" – in all senses,
And many varied offerings were submitted.
Perusing them, it was borne in on us
That this theme is inherent in all life,
Hence, of course in all poetry. The force
That builds the cell from molecules and atoms
Continues in the working of the creature
Making, of what is given, what it can,
Of stones constructing shelters, of impressions
And tendencies a self, a notion of
Reality, and in collaboration,
Somehow, a family, a state, a world.
For better or for worse. And alongside
Our practical constructions, in the poem
Something else seeks to constitute itself
As shelter for the soul that otherwise
Lacks some accommodation. One might say
The poem gives off "G-d's frequency," to quote
George Payne, a late submitter; (you will find
His poem(s) on the homepage) Possibly
That's why Rav Kook, whose vision founds the State
Of Israel in a modernity
Not soulless, says there is no poem that truly
Denies the world's creator; that without
Poetry, the perfection of the world
Is not conceivable. We hope that in the poems
Presented here, the gracious reader will
Perceive some evidence for that proposition.
As always, we have striven to arrange
The poems in an order that suggests
A harmony beyond the poem's bounds.
Besides the copies which we print on paper,
The issue is online now in two formats:
html, easily viewed on smartphone,
and .pdf, which, printed out in duplex
gives a facsimile of the print edition
readable on Shabbat. Our homepage also
Offers a rich variety of supplements,
Including retrospects for two fine poets,
Shira Twersky-Cassel and Zev Davis,
Of blessed memory, who graced our pages
For many years with words that well deserve
To be remembered. May we find
Strength to continue where they have laid down
Their tools – or as Zev Davis put it
"Steal future plans: half hidden: build."
-- Which reminds us it's Adar, that month whose center
Is the festival of hidden miracles,
Usually marked by jollity with which
This letter's tone may be incongruous;
That it is written on Election Day
Must be considered in extenuation.
Here's to the spirit that persists in building,
That gave this land its life against all odds,
And will yet stand us in good stead.
Joy in that spirit and a fruitful year,
Mindy Aber Barad Golembo
Editors, The Deronda Review
George Eliot caught a whiff
Of dreams and built
A reality which til this day
Winds its way
Through our pages,
Where we hope that we have
Place word upon word
And created a foundation.
Are we not,
All of us,
Merely dreams upon dreams
Reaching to a Higher reality?