Miriam Kendi Hertz was my maternal grandmother and a woman who loved people…
My grandmother’s family immigrated to Manhattan from Hungary when she was just a child. She lived in New York City her whole life and became president of many charitable organizations there, working endless hours for the benefit of others. Her life was devoted primarily to her husband, her children, and to helping others. Following her demise the biggest synagogue in Manhattan overflowed with attendees, many who were left with standing room only.
Poetry was, for my grandmother, a very solitary, meditative practice, which she engaged in all her life. My mother, Nannette, gathered my grandmother’s poems into a book for informal publication after she left us. The following is how my mother introduced her own mother’s poetry:
“These are the poems of a heart overflowing, of someone whose active works of love and friendship always took precedence over self-involved pleasures. She loved poetry, especially its music—many of her verses are songs. Her voice is contained in statements simple and direct, unabashed emotion pouring out—as it did in her life. These will appeal to all who enjoy an uncorrupted taste of honey. Mother would have dedicated her poems to the needy, the hurt, to all her loving friends, and to her family. For us her love was boundless.”
Soft winds are singing their surging song,
Shimmering waters reflect the trees
Where faith is renewed and hopes belong,
And love is wafted in buoyant breeze.
Mountains tower on every side,
Parade this glen;
Green verdure rises anew with pride,
Contentment fills the souls of men.
The sun is blinking his lazy eye
As he nods “goodnight” to all,
Slipping down over the mountainside,
A glittering golden ball.
Oh, resplendent burst of falling light,
Bless us all as you leave!
Give courage to man to live upright
In the hush of the quiet eve.
Graham M. Schweig is a scholar of comparative religion who focuses on the religions of India and comparative theology. He is a specialist in love mysticism, yoga philosophy, bhakti traditions, and sacred Sanskrit texts, which he has been immersed in -both as a student and yoga practitioner- for over forty years. He did his graduate studies at Harvard University and the University of Chicago, receiving his doctorate in Comparative Religion from Harvard. Schweig taught at Duke University, was Visiting Associate Professor of Sanskrit at the University of Virginia, and is a regularly invited lecturer at the Smithsonian Institution. He is currently professor of philosophy and religious studies at Christopher Newport University, Virginia. Some of his books include, Dance of Divine Love: The Rāsa Līlā of Krishna from the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, (Princeton University Press 2005), and Bhagavad Gītā: TheBeloved Lord’s Secret Love Song, (Harper Collins Publishers 2007). Together with his partner, Catherine Ghosh, he founded The Secret Yoga Institute though which various workshops and RYT500 yoga teacher-trainings are offered. You may connect with him via e-mail: Graham@secretyoga.com
~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~