For Pam Rehm

Tirzah Goldenberg

The virtue of angels is that they cannot deteriorate,and their flaw is that they cannot improve.HASIDIC SAYINGa language of lore, of lure, of cleft, of where         the cleaving angels never cease               you knowing, continually sing...a song of occulted singing, o I'd as lief         know as not by what earthly means               my friend...my desire is simple         my dialect antique, but simple               don't the angels...don't the angels with the aid of their hymnals         don't the angels with their twofold simples               seem a cure?

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image of Tirzah Goldenberg

Tirzah (teer-tsah) Goldenberg is the author of two full-length collections, Aleph and Like an Olive, both from Verge Books. She is also co-author, with Norman Finkelstein, of Thirty-Six / Two Lives: A Poetic Dialogue. She lives on the Olympic Peninsula with her husband Rico and their cat Fennel.

"Tirzah Goldenberg’s Like an Olive opens a space for me interior to the word, moves by some expansive mobility anterior to the letter, at once unfurling and embroidering, at once a hermitage below image and a vessel whose play of absence carries, like an archeological fragment, the forms and questions of our inheritance. This k’zayis, like an olive, is a shiur I want to show up for again and again, a book which presses with sensitive longing the pressing particulars of a present. How to live, where to live, how to be with others, how in a fractured overlapping and doubling of diasporas might we construct our communities and futures? Offered is a rhyme between ancient and contemporary, between personal and mystical, possible because of what’s allowed in the word as Goldenberg writes: a past and present embellishing the measure of themselves in a pun far deeper and larger than wit."

—Lewis Freedman

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