Page 36 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 46

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
as the last poem of his final volume) Klein speaks of the poet’s
disappearance into non-being, his status as nonentity:
We are sure only that from our real society
he has disappeared; he simply does not count . . .
The truth is he’s not dead, but only ignored
Against such ignominy, the defenceless poet cites his intuitive
love for language:
Then he will remember his travels over the body
the torso verb, the beautiful face of the noun,
and all those shaped and warm auxiliaries!
A first love it was, the recognition of his own.
Dear limbs adverbial, complexion of adjective,
dimple and dip of conjugation!
and concludes with the revelation of his poetic desires:
To find a new function for the,
declasse
craft
archaic like the fletcher’s; to make a new thing;
to say the word that will become sixth sense;
perhaps by necessity and indirection bring
new forms of life, anonymously, new creeds
These examples are witness to Klein’s modernity. As Jew and
poet he is doubly conscious of the problematics of existence.
To confess one’s faith in the poet’s or the Jew’s vocation is,
in the 20th century, to court ambiguities and take risks. In the
full knowledge of these possibilities, Klein fashioned a viable,
though precarious vocation, bringing to life many new things,
many new forms.
PROSE WRITINGS
The first volume of Klein’s collected papers to appear was
Beyond Sambation: Selected Essays and Editorials, 1928-1955
(1982).
The editors brought together eight essays which had appeared
originally in
The Judaean,
the monthly magazine of Canadian
Young Judaea edited by Klein from 1928 to 1932, and the week­
ly
Canadian Jewish Chronicle,
from which the major part of the
collection derives. Klein served as editor and principal writer
o f the
Chronicle
from 1938 to 1955 and therefore his editorials
comprise a full record of these most momentous years of mod­