Yesterday I heard Chana read recent poems, most about her diagnosis of terminal cancer. She was incandescent and spoke of how a fatal disease can also be a gift, focusing the mind, the spirit, on what’s important. She mentioned that her first book started with a group of poems about her father’s death, and the irony that her career is completing itself with this new work, on contemplating her own death. I don’t have any of the new poems, “still a work in progress,” Chana says, but here is one about her father:
Theirs was the one with the noisy bedsprings.
How does a child solve a riddle like that?
—are they fighting again?
Theirs was a marriage of drums and cymbals,
a clashing-and-carping, nagging-and-clamoring
performed day in, day out. Continue reading “Chana Bloch”