Title: Lakol Z’man: A Time for Everything
Author: Yossi Huttler
The Holidays are over (please, no applause). But if you find yourself already missing them, rejoice, rejoice. A pleasurable new compendium of poetry by newcomer Yossi Huttler will keep you warm until Chanukah, Purim and – dare we say it too soon – Pesach once again come into view.
In the collection, entitled Lakol Z’man, Huttler goes through the Jewish calendar, offering charming, one-page poems that help bring the seasons and their distinctive days into lyrical focus.
Thus, in Nissan (the sections are arranged by Hebrew months) Huttler includes poems called “Bedikas Chametz” and “Mah Nishtana,” and in Av, he has one called “Tears.”
The poems are easily accessible even for those without much experience reading poetry, but many contain a subtle and introspective beauty. Here’s one (called “Na’anuim”) whose transcendent imagery catches you by surprise:
like a G-d fearing man
now how do I
turn my palm
shake me up
Each one individually is certainly enjoyable (and that’s how they were written; as individual poems as Huttler was inspired by “the annual journey through the various minor and major holidays,” as he puts it). But when read together, in succession, the collective effect brings the reader on a path that both expands the inner tingling sensation that we get as we experience the Yomim Tovim and amplifies our anticipation.
Most of the poems are serious, which is to say Huttler is approaching the subject matter seriously, but he can also be lighthearted.
One Nissan entry – one of my favorites – called “Machzir Gerushato” (literally, “Returning to one’s divorcee”), and subtitled “Motzei Pesach,” goes like this:
I walk down the aisle
trying not to act overeager
you haven’t changed
so why do you look so different tonight
from all other nights
in the florescent light
of the supermarket
it’s only been eight days
Lakol Z’man is a pleasure. Buy one by e-mailing the author at firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling him at 323-655-0973.