Page 227 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 24

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W
inners
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1 9 6 5 L
it era r y
A
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“From the moment I began to read Ruth Finer Mintz’s
The
Darkening Green,
I became aware that there was authentic verse
written by a poet who understands the dynamics of poetry and
speaks rare poetic eloquence. Her quiet, competent craftsmanship
accords with the breadth and power and music of her lyrics. The
reader experiences mature and high-spirited moments which are
inundated with mystical upreaching. There is a nexus between
the visible and the invisible, between the ponderable and the
imponderable, between dream and unfulfillment as well as be­
tween dream and fulfillment.
“The Jewish content of Mrs. Mintz’s poems emerges from
many of the lyrics like a gust of breeze through open windows.
The following, titled ‘Therefore Choose Life,’ is an apt illustra­
tion. It is based on Moses’ exhortation to his people in Deuter­
onomy 30:19.
‘Therefore choose life,’
The old man said.
But he was old.
Some sneered.
They said it was a trick
That made hard Pharoah see
A serpent in the stick
Before the slaves
Went free
And the first born sons
Grew deathly sick.
‘Therefore choose life,’
The old man said,
And went. The way he came.
All the clever striplings
Shook their heads.
Forgetting,
Once he had been
Young enough
To see the bush aflame.
David Polish
In the name of the judges, Abraham Berger, chief of the Jewish
Division of the New York Public Library, made the following
statement to Rabbi David Polish:
“It gives me great pleasure and it is my privilege to present to
you on behalf of The Jewish Book Council of America the
Frank and Ethel S. Cohen Award for a Book on Jewish Thought.
Your book,
Th e Higher Freedom: A New Turning Point in