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By Samuel Menashe


Is this writing mine

Whose name is this

Did I underline

What I was to miss?


An upheaval of leaves

Enlightens the tree

Rooted it receives   

Gusts on a spree


Beauty makes me sad

Makes me grieve

I see what I must leave


Scaffold, gallows

Do whose will

Who hallows wood

To build, kill


Blind man, anvil

No hammer strikes

Your eyes are spikes

Samuel Menashe, “At Cross Purposes” from Samuel Menashe: New and Selected Poems, edited by Christopher Ricks, published by The Library of America, 2005. Copyright © 2004 by Samuel Menashe. Used by permission of the author.

Source: Samuel Menashe: New and Selected Poems (The Library of America, 2005)

  • Arts & Sciences

Poet Bio

Samuel Menashe
Samuel Menashe was born in New York City and was educated at Queens College of the City University of New York as well as the Sorbonne in Paris. He spent three years serving in the U.S. Army Infantry in Belgium, France, and Germany during World War II. In 2004, Menashe was the recipient of the first Neglected Master Award from the Poetry Foundation. In 2005, the Library of America added Menashe to their collection with New and Selected Poems. See More By This Poet

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