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A Conversation with Alicia Ostriker: Part 1

By ImageOctober 1, 2018

Image issue #98 includes poems by critic, activist, and biblical scholar Alicia Ostriker, winner of the Jewish National Book Award and many others. She has said, “Composing an essay, a review or a piece of literary criticism, I know more or less what I am doing and what I want to say. When I write…

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Poetry Friday: “Bird on Knee”

By Tara BraySeptember 28, 2018

Like Emily Dickinson, Bray describes hope as thing with feathers, “an eastern phoebe.” Turning on sound and image, the poem “Bird on Knee” subtly shifts, inflecting new meaning. Each element nests in the other, layered, like a bird perched on a lap. Keening sounds repeat in “lightly,” “knee,” “eastern,” “phoebe,” and “me.” The density and…

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Writing Rules for Life

By Sara ZarrSeptember 27, 2018

For my forty-first birthday, I decided to write a personal rule of life. Turning forty hadn’t magically made me wise in the way that translates into action, and I didn’t wish to spend the next decade wading in the same bog of issues and habits and disordered affections that kept me from feeling present to…

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The Stars of the Earth Cry Out

By Patricia DawsonSeptember 26, 2018

Last night, as I walked on the road that leads me home, I saw a deer sitting in the meadow.  The moon was out, and the few stars not clouded with the glow of human endeavors kept their lights unmoving in the endless sea of almost darkness.  The deer sat there, away from the road,…

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Remembering Sassy

By Peggy RosenthalSeptember 25, 2018

Sassy wasn’t her real name, and she wasn’t “sassy” at all. But as happens with many grandparents, the oldest grandchild names her—and the name sticks. I was that oldest grandchild. Her name was Sarah, which is what I’d hear the grownups call her. But when I tried, at age one-and-a-half or so, to say “Sarah,”…

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Swallowing My Pride

By James CrewsSeptember 24, 2018

I lost it at the dentist’s office the other day. I was there with my mother and had been flipping through copies of Good Housekeeping, waiting for hours. I was hungry and impatient by the time she emerged, then the receptionist presented us with an itemized and very detailed list of expensive dental work my…

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Poetry Friday: “The Ordinary Time”

By Dana Littlepage SmithSeptember 21, 2018

According to the Church’s liturgical calendar, this is the twenty-fourth week of Ordinary Time, the numbered weeks between the end of the Christmas season and the beginning of Lent, as well as the weeks following Pentecost Sunday until the first Sunday of Advent. Ordinary Time is the period in which the faithful live not in…

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Beginner Ballet

By Melissa Florer-BixlerSeptember 20, 2018

I hobbled into beginner ballet at age thirty-six, late for my first class, whirring between meetings, racing up the steps to the dance studio that was located, felicitously, next to a burrito joint that served beer. I switched into beginner ballet after a disastrous attempt at intro to hip-hop a week earlier. Ballet, I hoped,…

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Leonard Cohen’s Holy and Broken Hallelujah

By Alisa Ungar-SargonSeptember 19, 2018

My first “Hallelujah” was sung by Rufus Wainwright in Shrek. I was a preteen and baffled that my grown siblings were interested in the soundtrack. The lyrics were deceptively simple words, referencing biblical passages I recognized. I knew it was Dovid who saw Batsheva bathing on the roof; I knew it was Delila who cut…

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Ready or Not for the Days of Awe

By Richard ChessSeptember 18, 2018

By now, I could have read Psalm 27 at least twenty-seven times, once a day for the past twenty-seven days. I could have participated in communal prayer on Shabbat morning three times during this month: Elul. Regular prayer—a practice that may create conditions in which the worshipper can see herself as she is seen by…

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