Each Holy Breath

EACH HOLY BREATH, is a collection of 50 poems selected from poems written over a period of 40 years that captures the nexus points of Nechama Tamler’s life—love, children, the life and death of parents, the birth of grandchildren, friendships, Jewish holydays, the memories of a childhood filled with sunshine, her garden, her trips and adventures, exterior and interior. The poems are filled with specific references to Jewish rituals; they contain snippets of Jewish liturgy, and references to holiday customs including food and other celebratory activities. Tamler hopes that the particularistic idioms will be understood broadly and recognized as universal echoes vibrating in every human heart.

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Reader Reviews

From Charlotte Fonrobert, PhD, Director of the Jewish Studies Program at Stanford:
A volume of exquisite and beautiful poems by one of California’s Jewish activist educators, who has built her home and family and enriched the community in the Bay Area over the past decades or so. I am reminded Grace Paley’s prose. What Grace Paley created with Little Disturbances of Man in prose, and for New York, Nechama Tamler has done for Jewish poetry, and for the Bay Area. Each poem expresses a stunning attention to the small details of life that make the social glue holding us all together, and tie us to this small planet of ours. She invites us into the most private moments of her family and her life, which instantaneously become our own. Each poem in this collection represents her and now our “antidote to chaos”. A contemplative, splendid new poetic voice from California.

From Howard Freedman Director of the Jewish Community Library
Sometimes the conventions of poetry cause a person’s authentic voice to be lost, but here I felt the author’s voice powerfully. Although the poems were not written in relation to one another, when assembled, they actually form quite a remarkable picture of a life, formed across variant points in time. They focus on what’s important to Tamler: parents, marriage, her kids, their kids, gardening, traveling, being in nature, being in Israel, and living/studying Torah, all distilled lovingly here.

Post archive date: Saturday November 3rd, 2018