This Poem was Submitted By: Marcia McCaslin On Date: 2004-03-21 23:56:02 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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Israel

O Israel, apple of G-dís eye, you have been mathematically positioned upon the earth. The eye of Jerusalem watches the heavens from the coil of the Golden Spiral. The beleaguered Bethlehem, revered by some, despised by others, is the crux of the Rectangle, highly esteemed according to the equation, rightly placed according to the  Divine Geometry. Why was so harsh a land chosen for this people and this time? It seems as though the soil is reluctant, the wind relentless and the sun searches every shadow until it finds a particle of itself. Your steel soldiers fight with supernatural strength to win impossible battles.  Their true destinies to be scientists, scholars and Nobel Prize winners are put on hold while G-d fulfills His purpose.  Genetic memory marks the path of their sacrifice. No one can afford to sleep,  least of all the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Perhaps there are answers in the Pythagorean School of Numbers,  but how many searchers remain?   And of those who remain,  how many understand? As for me and my household, I will stand by my interpretation of Genesis 12:3ó(God is speaking to Abraham): And I will bless them that bless  thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed

Copyright © March 2004 Marcia McCaslin

Additional Notes:
Again, on vacation from Mar. 29 through April 3, but will try my best to rate/answer all critiques via my laptop while I am gone.


This Poem was Critiqued By: Elaine Marie Phalen On Date: 2004-04-04 19:04:59
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.87500
Marcia, this is a powerful tribute to a most astonishing and enduring people. It's also very timely, coming at Passover and also on the heels of the controversial Gibson movie. To those who raise questions regarding the Chosen People, or express skepticism and doubts, your poem stands as a firm rebuttal. I believe there is a corner of Israel in every Jew who lives across the world, whether or not he or she has ever been to this special land. It is a magnetic, a lodestar. The references to Divine Geometry are most appropriate. This perfect placement seems ordained, as her "scientists, scholars ..." are likewise ordained. There's a certain karmic pattern woven around the state itself (which was founded but a few days before my own birth, so I have always felt a connection). Your writing is cadenced here, psalm-like. Diction is easily understood and very accessible to all readers. It is formal but not verbose. Allusions drawn from the Old Testament/Torah are apt and nicely integrated. Imagery is clear and striking, as in this: Why was so harsh a land chosen for this people and this time? It seems as though the soil is reluctant, the wind relentless and the sun searches every shadow until it finds a particle of itself. Subtle use of sonic elemnts - alliterative r and s, lots of sh/ch blends - whisper like the sand in the wind. I love the implication that the sun itself descends to scatter among the stones. The theme of sacrifice is made more poignant by this impression of blessedness. We all know how great the losses have been and how many potential Israeli citizens have never made it to their promised land. Perhaps there are answers in the Pythagorean School of Numbers, but how many searchers remain? And of those who remain, how many understand? Many have already died, in the camps or the wars since, and through age and despair. Rabbinal scholars, searching the Cabbalistic writings and other arcana, may come close to comprehending the very nature of their homeland and its divine covenant, but their company is dwindling and the newer generation of warriors may have little time for such puzzles. Your closing passage, in which you quote from Genesis itself, crackles with passion. Isn't it amazing how those ancient words can stir us still? I'm short on time tonight but had to stop by and tell you how this poem has affected me. My Levite roots are proud and I'm made glad for having read it. Brenda


This Poem was Critiqued By: Mark Steven Scheffer On Date: 2004-03-26 00:29:34
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Marcia, Now, Marcia, what kind of extreme Biblicist are you? (smile) I disagree with your theology, or what i gather from it. But I shouldn't say that, since you are speaking poetically, not theologicially. I'm fond of, and support, Isreal myself, and could understand your alluding to those lines from Genesis on a poem about Isreal. Having said that, i say this: Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many, but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. So I don't agree with your "interpretation." But I like the poem, which is very well wrought, particularly with the mathematical allusions. I love, "the sun searches every shadow until it finds a particle of itself." And, again, while I don't agree with the theological interpretation, I do agree with the general tone of respect and admiration for Isreal and its people, who will i trust be our allies to the death in the war against the Muslim hordes. The western half of Christendom doesn't quite have the memory of Muslim hordes that the Eastern half does - too bad. That's not very pc, but i could give a rat's ass for being pc. I've been told that i'm delusional with regard to Isreal. Well, i'd rather be delusionally alive then have my non-delusional throat slit under a non-delusional crescent moon. I think the Islamofascists would take New York in 2004 like they took Constantinople in the 15th century. I don't fancy being "burned" as a "heretic," and say, yes, G-d bless Isreal, and us in the trying times ahead. You don't pull your punches. Good for you. I'd like having you at my back in a brawl. Mark
This Poem was Critiqued By: Jennifer j Hill On Date: 2004-03-24 13:11:41
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.77273
Dear Marcia, This is a really lovely free verse piece about God's chosen people. I enjoyed reading this immensely. One of the coolest things here is that you incorporate geometry into this piece so effortlessly. How cool is that!! The s-3 question and reasons for asking are wonderful. Of course only God could answer that and there-in is a beautiful story in itself. Even more brilliant are the questions in the 7th stanza. And the last part just blows me away! The form and punctuation is perfect for this message and I have no suggestions for improvement. Thank you for writing and sharing this. Blessings, Jennifer
This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne M Uppendahl On Date: 2004-03-22 16:25:21
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Marcia: You have many voices - from the descriptive delights of the old bucket (which is so much more than it appears at first glance), the old cabin (I'll never forget that one) and now - in this deeply moving tribute. It is time for a poem of support, respect and solidarity - especially given recent events. I am delighted to find it and proud of its author and of the nation and people it portrays movingly for this reader. O Israel, apple of G-dís eye, you have been mathematically positioned upon the earth. This is beautiful and respectful - the spelling as I've seen it written by Jewish writers. I am not aware of the mathematics of Israel's position - but this could be metaphor for its importance. Then again, I think of fractals, of perfection in nature - and ponder about the exactness of the location - the hub and center of the world. The eye of Jerusalem watches the heavens from the coil of the Golden Spiral. Again, simply exquisite. The beleaguered Bethlehem, revered by some, despised by others, is the crux of the Rectangle, highly esteemed according to the equation, rightly placed according to the Divine Geometry. I've not studied Pythagorean number systems. I do recall him as the one who wrote of "music of the spheres." Some took his writings literally, some poetically. I will be interested to see what I can find out about this "Divine Geometry." Why was so harsh a land chosen for this people and this time? It seems as though the soil is reluctant, the wind relentless and the sun searches every shadow until it finds a particle --incredible imageries of itself. Your steel soldiers fight with supernatural strength to win impossible -- One thinks of King David here battles. Their true destinies to be scientists, scholars and Nobel Prize winners are put on hold while G-d fulfills His purpose. Genetic memory marks the path of their sacrifice. No one can afford to sleep, least of all the G-d of Abraham, -- a timely reminder that the Creator's plans cannot be defeated Isaac and Jacob. Perhaps there are answers in the Pythagorean School of Numbers, but how many searchers remain? And of those who remain, how many understand? Now you know I will be searching to find information about this! I haven't knowledge of this research nr its implications. But below, you send me back to holy scriptures - As for me and my household, I will stand by my interpretation of Genesis 12:3ó(God is speaking to Abraham): And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed and increase my gratitude for both this poem and this reference in Genesis to what must not be forgotten - especially now. Thank you, Marcia, for a work of grandeur and praise for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. May you be richly blessed. Brava!! All my best, Joanne
This Poem was Critiqued By: Sherri L Smith On Date: 2004-03-22 11:21:12
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.46154
Marcia, With the risk of starting another fury on the forum, I believe as well that God's word is true and he will indeed bless those that bless them and curse those that curse them. We as Americans need to stand behind our allies. I liked the fact that you state how you feel and not afraid to take your own stand. I am like that too. Enjoy your vacation. Sherri
This Poem was Critiqued By: Rachel F. Spinoza On Date: 2004-03-22 09:26:53
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.80000
How could I not love this poem and copy it for friends and relatives to show them that people really do care about Israel and her peoples in this time of renewed Anti-Semitism in life and on the screen. Israel, apple of G-dís eye, you have been mathematically positioned upon the earth. Amazing fresh speculation which gives us a G-d's eye perception of the land The eye of Jerusalem watches the heavens from the coil of the Golden Spiral. Fine reference to the "Eye of the Needle Gate" - the narrow entrance to Jerusalem through which it was almost impossible for a camel to pass. The heaven reference - contrasted with that narrowness os amazing! [-The ]beleaguered Bethlehem,[so close in language it is almost an anagram! Fine writing can do this.] revered by some, despised by [repeat "some" - here for cadence and drama I think] is the crux of the Rectangle, highly esteemed according to the equation, rightly placed according to[- the] Divine Geometry. Yes...fascinating speculation Why was so harsh a land chosen for this people and this time? ["this time" is brilliant as it has been thousands of years and yet a blink of the eye in the time of the world - amazing writing!] It seems as though the soil is reluctant, the wind relentless and the sun searches every shadow until it finds a particle of itself. Lovely! ah, yes - in the hot winds over the desert there are many many shadows Your steel soldiers fight with supernatural strength to win impossible battles. Their true destinies to be scientists, scholars and Nobel Prize winners are put on hold while G-d fulfills His purpose. Genetic memory marks the path of their sacrifice. beautiful tribute! No one can afford to sleep, least of all the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. nope - nor His/Her people Perhaps there are answers in the Pythagorean School of Numbers, but how many searchers remain? And of those who remain, how many understand? And perhaps that is only star gazing - in any case - it constrasts nicely with Bibical reference. As for me and my household, I will stand by my interpretation of Genesis 12:3ó(God is speaking to Abraham): And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed And may you be blessed and all your household be blessed for this lovely and amazing poem. b'Shalom Rachel
This Poem was Critiqued By: Wayne R. Leach On Date: 2004-03-22 08:29:08
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.58462
Well written - and informative piece of work. It reads very easily, probably more so for those who are knowledgeable about that region. I found it not in the least didactic, as some in this genre are. Very interesting form, kinds of keeping the reader in limbo wondering what is next, leading him/her on [with your wonderful use of enjambment] into the next lines with those lines ending in prepositions and articles such as "for", "and", "the". Great read. I see punctuation throughout the piece, except at the end. I wonder if that is intentional, leaving the quotation marks and final period out. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed It seems to [kind of] leave the reader hanging in anticipation without a final completion. Maybe we are incomplete, unblessed?? type of thought. Thanks for posting, and again - Happy vacationing! wl
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