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Poem, upon seeing 'Brave Old World'
January 23, 1998
by Jim Kohn

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More about Brave Old World

Concert review, Boston, 10 July 1997

Review of 'Blood Oranges'

other klezmer articles on the Internet

[Note: This was originally sent to me as e-mail. Posted with permission. ari]

From: Jim Kohn
Subject: BTW BOW

Went to hear Brave Old World at U.C. Santa Cruz last Thursday. Exquisitely wonder how they have taken the klezmer tradition into a modern and creative direction. Their ensemble playing is dramatic and so responsive, each to the other. We were able to get copies of their new release, Blood Oranges, from the German edition. It's a good representation of their current performance.

Here's a [poem] I wrote while in S.C. Enjoy.

The Klezmer
(For Brave Old World)

Looking inside
at kishke level
we yidden are such an ancient pudding
chopped up with garlic and spice
and shaped like gefilte fish
into human forms...

one taste of that ritual food
and a sinuous song
like a spring wind through grandfather trees
in mountains embracing heimish valleys
beyond the reach of fireside tales
rises like the sweet blood
in the tree of life...

and if you are born to the klezmorim
your shower songs
become apocalyptic and hilarious
and everything that ever
charmed your ear
joins that megillah of cryptic dervishes
no one ever taught you
and shakes your music maker
like neue, like alte nigunim
like the first rascally singing fool
the crazed villagers
couldn't live with or without...

why, you meshugge klezmer?
you disturb their dreams...

you are their dreams.

Jim Kohn



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Poem © copyright 1998 Jim Kohn. Page copyright © 1998 by Ari Davidow. All rights reserved. Send me E-mail with any comments or suggestions. Last revised 11 June, 2007.