“Adonai” at Storm King
I still can barely speak the name.
But to Alexander Liberman,
Born in Kiev in 1912,
It was the kind his audience
Demanded. Later on, he said
That titles meant nothing to him,
That putting one on a work of art
Was like hammering a handle
On to something that could not
Be pinned down. On a nearby hill
His “Adam” stands; not far away,
His “Iliad.” We took the tram
To a part of the park they call The Meadows,
And to the left we saw what seemed
A giant pile of logs, the collapsed
Remnant of a great estate
On a bombed-out continent. So God
Amounts to six-foot cylinders,
Heavy, hollow, once used for gas,
Rusted then refabricated,
Painted burnt sienna. Two poles
Evoke the portal of a church,
Two the nave, and one is poised
To fall. The heart, from afar, falls
Into the sanctuary at Chartres,
Where Liberman once sat and thought
And gathered up the shapes that could
Suggest to us the name of God.
David M. Katz
David M. Katz’s books of poems include Stanzas on Oz and Claims of Home, both published by Dos Madres Press. He’s also the author of The Warrior in the Forest, published by House of Keys Press. Poems of his have appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, The New Criterion, The Hopkins Review, and The Cortland Review. He is currently working on a new poetry collection, tentatively entitled Money. He lives in New York City and recently retired after a 40-year career as a business journalist and editor.
1/15/2019 04:10:09 pm
A wonderful poem, David
David M. Katz
1/15/2019 04:55:29 pm
I'm honored by your words, Betsy.
1/20/2019 11:53:25 am
And I am honored by your friendship and your words, which spark my spirit, lifting my consciousness to another level, another aspect of life, of response to it. Thank you.
7/16/2021 07:50:22 am
I just visited Storm King in May, my second this spring. “Adonai” was the first sculpture looked at. It amazed and awed me. Then I see your poem. How beautiful. Thank you.
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