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"Yiskor"
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Final version of poem discussed in my "Writer's Craft" lecture

YIZKOR

"the silence is no silence" Paul Celan, 1959

With her breath's
warm shape of syllables
she taught him to love
in its stillness
the mother
her language
dearest
to be scoured
pure as he lived years
years pressed under history
heart constricting so
blood hardly flowed
through the temples
assaulted wave
after wave
erasing
memory
sound
the shapes
of words
but never
this void
edged
by whispering
smoke.

--Linda Clifton
Seattle, Washington
2005

Writer's Craft Lecture


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