GENESIS 1, 2
By RUTH F. BRIN
Hail the hand that scattered space with stars,
Wrapped whirling world in bright blue blanket, air,
Made worlds within worlds, elements in earth,
Souls within skins, every one a teeming universe,
Every tree a system of semantics, and pushed
Beyond probability to place consciousness
On this cooling crust of burning rock.
Oh praise that hand, mind, heart, soul, power or force
That so inclosed, separated, limited planets, trees, humans
Yet breaks all bounds and borders
To lavish on us light, love, life
This trembling glory.
* * *
The poem, “In Praise,” was published in Harvest: Collected Poems and Prayers (Holy Cow! Press) by Ruth Firestone Brin, of blessed memory. It is reprinted here with the permission of the Brin family. Ruth Brin was a widely published poet and liturgist. She also wrote a memoir and a novel, and served for many years as the American Jewish World’s book critic.
Aribert Munzner’s painting, “Genesis ’00-1,” is part of a series of more than 500 paintings on the biblical Genesis theme dating back to 1956. Munzner told the AJW this week that he had discussions with Ruth Brin about illustrating her poetry; but the project never came to fruition. The American Jewish World is grateful to Ari Munzner for his beautiful artwork gracing the cover of the Rosh Hashana edition; and we are happy that his painting and Ruth Brin’s felicitous poetry finally could be paired on the page. — Mordecai Specktor
(American Jewish World, 8.30.13)