Before the Silent Prayer,
some slip the hood of their prayer shawls
over their heads,
so that even among many worshipers
they are alone with God.
I’ve heard a few poets express annoyance re: the preface to this New York Times Magazine poem, “Prayer,” by Yehoshua November. Matthew Zapruder writes:
Yehoshua November integrates his Orthodox Judaism with the everyday, through poems of radical clarity. Throughout his work, he shows that religious faith can be compatible with a poetry of deep, uncertain feeling.
Is the feeling in this poem really “uncertain?” Should Zapruder have let it speak for itself, rather than put his own interpretation on it? (Prob not possible in a newspaper column, though…)