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Famous Synagogue Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Synagogue poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous synagogue poems. These examples illustrate what a famous synagogue poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Lehman, David
...are in a state of panic--at first.
Then they realize that it is the answer to their prayers.
They hasten to the synagogue or build new ones.
They are Jews at last!
They are free to marry other Jews, and divorce them, and intermarry
 with Gentiles, God forbid.
They are model citizens, clever and thrifty.
They debate the issues.
They fire off earnest letters to the editor.
They vote.
They are resented for being clever and thrifty.
They buy ho...Read More



by Thomas, Dylan
...the still hour
Is come of the sea tumbling in harness

And I must enter again the round
Zion of the water bead
And the synagogue of the ear of corn
Shall I let pray the shadow of a sound
Or sow my salt seed
In the least valley of sackcloth to mourn

The majesty and burning of the child's death.
I shall not murder
The mankind of her going with a grave truth
Nor blaspheme down the stations of the breath
With any further
Elegy of innocence and youth.

Deep with the firs...Read More

by Ginsberg, Allen
...Jersey, B'nai Israel Cemetery
But l want a big funeral
St. Patrick's Cathedral, St. Mark's Church, the largest synagogue in 
 Manhattan
First, there's family, brother, nephews, spry aged Edith stepmother 
 96, Aunt Honey from old Newark,
Doctor Joel, cousin Mindy, brother Gene one eyed one ear'd, sister-
 in-law blonde Connie, five nephews, stepbrothers & sisters 
 their grandchildren,
companion Peter Orlovsky, caretakers Rosenthal & Hale, Bill Morgan--
Next, teacher...Read More

by Khayyam, Omar
...Each heart that God illumines with the light of
love, as it frequents the mosque or synagogue, inscribes
its name upon the book of love, and is set free from
fear of Hell while it awaits the joys of Paradise.
294...Read More

by Khayyam, Omar
...Hearts with the light of love illumined well,
Whether in mosque or synagogue they dwell,
Have their names written in the book of love,
Unvexed by hopes of heaven or fears of hell....Read More



by Ginsberg, Allen
...s and wars, 
whole intellects disgorged in total recall for seven days 
 and nights with brilliant eyes, meat for the 
 Synagogue cast on the pavement, 
who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a 
 trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic 
 City Hall, 
suffering Eastern sweats and Tangerian bone-grind- 
 ings and migraines of China under junk-with- 
 drawal in Newark's bleak furnished room, 
who wandered around and around at midnight in the 
 railroad yard won...Read More

by Khayyam, Omar
...In synagogue and cloister, mosque and school,
Hell's terrors and heaven's lures men's bosoms rule,
But they who master Allah's mysteries,
Sow not this empty chaff their hearts to fool....Read More

by Lazarus, Emma
...Here, where the noises of the busy town, 
The ocean's plunge and roar can enter not,
We stand and gaze around with tearful awe,
And muse upon the consecrated spot.

No signs of life are here: the very prayers
Inscribed around are in a language dead;
The light of the "perpetual lamp" is spent
That an undying radiance was to shed.

What prayers were ...Read More

by Khayyam, Omar
...In the mosque, in the medresseh [school annexed to
the mosque], in the church, and in the synagogue, they
have a horror of Hell and seek for Paradise, but the seed
of such disquiet never germinates in the hearts of those
who penetrate the secrets of the All-Powerful....Read More

by Pinsky, Robert
..., four doors apart.
"Absence my presence is; strangeness my grace;
With them that walk against me is my sun."

"Synagogue" is a word I never heard,
We called it shul, the Yiddish word for school.
Elms, terra-cotta, the ocean a few blocks east.
"Lay institution": she taught me we didn't think
God lived in it. The rabbi is just a teacher.

But what about the hereditary priests,
Descendants of the Cohanes of the Temple,
Like Walter Holtz--I called him Unc...Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...en added, in the certainty of faith,
"And giveth Life that nevermore shall cease."

Closed are the portals of their Synagogue,
No Psalms of David now the silence break,
No Rabbi reads the ancient Decalogue
In the grand dialect the Prophets spake.

Gone are the living, but the dead remain,
And not neglected; for a hand unseen,
Scattering its bounty, like a summer rain,
Still keeps their graves and their remembrance green.

How came they here? What burst of Christia...Read More

by Paterson, Andrew Barton
...'re not wanted. 
We've come all this distance salvation to win agog, 
If he takes home our sins, it'll burst up the Synagogue!" 

He turned to an Acolyte who was making his bacca light, 
A fleet-footed youth who could run like a crack o' light. 
"Run, Abraham, run! Hunt him over the plain, 
And drive back the brute to the desert again. 
The Sphinx is a-watching, the Pyramids will frown on you, 
From those granite tops forty cent'ries look down on you -- 
Run, Abra...Read More

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