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  • Two Poems for Chana Bloch
  • Gail Holst-Warhaft (bio)

Last Leaves

Fearless, she faced death"to study the soul" – the wayit inhabits the terminal body,

knowing there's no hopeyet flaring up to writea word or tap out a rhythm

before it lets go, likea leaf that clings, then floats,thin as paper, to earth.

She liked naked treesbest, without a stitchto cover their bones.

In those stark skeletonsshe saw support for the leavesthat drop, and are replaced. [End Page 65]

Room with a View

She was alwaysrehearsing the endand what comes after–she wanted to be buriedin the cemetery in Berkeleywith a view of the bay.

My ninety-year-oldGreek friendwants to be buriedin Crete. He says,"Their graves have windows.My parents are buriedthere. If I'm lonelyI can always goand visit them."

Near the end, talkgets playful. Whatis there to say?When the lightis switched offwe still wanta room with a view. [End Page 67]

Gail Holst-Warhaft

Gail Holst-Warhaft is a poet, translator, musicologist, and literary scholar. Her books include Lucky Country (Fomite, forthcoming); The Fall of Athens (Fomite, 2016); Penelope's Confession (Cosmos, 2007); The Collected Poems of Nikos Kavadias (Cosmos, 2006); I Had Three Lives: Selected Poems of Mikis Theodorakis (Livani, 2004); The Cue for Passion: Grief and Its Political Uses (Harvard University Press, 2000); Dangerous Voices: Women's Laments and Greek Literature (Routledge, 1995); Theodorakis: Myth and Politics in Modern Greek Music (Adolf M. Hakkert, 1979); and Road to Rembetika (Denise Harvey, 1975). Her poems and translations have been published in many journals and anthologies. She was Poet Laureate of Tompkins County, New York, for 2011 and 2012.



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