Cantos: A New Directions Blog

Allen Grossman

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Just yesterday we heard that Allen Grossman would be honored with the Bollingen Prize. In talking about Grossman, one of the editors pointed out her favorite Grossman poem to me:

City of David

Jerusalem is a grave of poets. Name
two who are buried there:
the poet Dennis Silk is buried there.
He lived with a dressmaker’s dummy,
in a cave, on the Hill of Evil
Counsel due south of Zion Mount.
She bore him children
after her kind. –In any case, whatever
she gave birth to did not live.
Famous Amichai, also a poet,
is buried there. From his apartment on
the eastern slope you can see
a gate of the City, called David’s Gate.
In ’48, on a beach at Tel Aviv,
the poet Amichai held a dying soldier
in his arms. The soldier whispered–:
“Shelley.” And then he died.
Poets built Jerusalem. Therefore,
poets have a duty to destroy
Jerusalem. If I forget thee,
the world will be better off.
The tree a cat can get up into,
a cat can get down from by itself.

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Written by New Directions

February 18, 2009 at 4:08 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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