Wasn’t It | by Seymour Shubin


Wasn’t It?

I remember, when I was a kid,
hearing that if you wanted to be anything
in medicine or any of the sciences
you had to go to Germany
you had to study there.
But it was of no interest to me
since I was just a kid.
But it came back to me
like a blow
when some months later
I saw a man sitting in what was
described in the newspaper
as a Jew in a garbage wagon
being paraded by what were called
brownshirts.
But that was just an ugliness,
I remember thinking.
After all, that was the world
of the sciences,
wasn’t it?
What could ever happen there?

Why Me17501379

Barbara Brett‘s review

Aug 22, 13
Read in August, 2013

 

“A poem…begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness…. It finds the thought and the thought finds the words,” Robert Frost wrote nearly a century ago. The words are as true today as they were then, and they are a particularly apt description of the forty gems in Seymour Shubin’s eloquent and moving poetry collection, Why Me?. This is the first time that Shubin, best-selling author of crime fiction, has turned his hand and his heart to poetry, and it is as close as he has ever come to autobiography. Every poem opens a window on a thought, a longing, an incident that though unique to the poet also shines a light on the life of the reader and awakens the warmth of recognition in his or her heart. From the poignant “Wait Your Turn” that opens the collection to the heart-rending “Joel” that ends it, the book is a journey of discovery for its author and of rediscovery for his readers. Why Me? Shubin asks, wondering why he is still here when so many other loved ones have gone before him. But every reader of this book comes away with the answer: “It’s because we need the insight and wisdom you give us in this beautiful book, Seymour Shubin—and we long for more.”

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