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Into the Light: Safe Haven, 1944

INTO THE LIGHT: SAFE HAVEN, 1944 “And you that shall cross from shore to shore…are more to me and more in my meditations, than you might suppose.” Walt Whitman, “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” Thank God for you, Henry Gibbins, ship of dreams laden with bedraggled brethren dark and fair, tall and short, all frail-boned and gaunt, each and every one a survivor reborn in the wake of conscience. Blessed, their leader, Ruth Gruber; praised, her leader, Franklin D. Roosevelt; and you, Captain Korn — commanding officer extraordinaire — your kind face and outstretched arms, the ship’s crew — their smiling faces, helpful hands; the stalwart bulk and hallowed halls, sky-crowned decks surrounded by sea-speckled rail — far cry from barbed wire. Joy, the glistening white toilets; divine, clean fresh air that fills sunken chests, lungs ashen from the fires of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Dachau, Treblinka… And you, buoyant sea, revered for strong currents and changing tides; and you, gulls that glide the breeze, assuaging wounded spirit. “Are you America?” And you, huge dining hall bejeweled with vegetables, cornucopia of meats, kaleidoscope of sweets that swell shrunken bellies, smooth withered souls; the soft pillows and ample blankets nestled in tier after tier of bunks, the nightmares you help smother, sweet dreams you set in motion; talent shows, chess tournaments, movies, musicales. “Are you America?” “Yes, you are America — my America! Land of the free, home of the brave!

Copyright © | Year Posted 2014

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Date: 6/5/2015 5:27:00 PM
A powerful historic write, Ruth! Congrats on being featured on Soup's home page this week! Love, Kim
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Date: 6/5/2015 2:22:00 AM
Hi RUTH.. Just a quick note to congratulate you for having this impressive write featured on Soup's home page. Blessings and keep writing wonderful works! -LM
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Date: 6/2/2015 11:19:00 PM
RUTH, Congratulations on having your poem featured this week. SKAT love
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Date: 2/2/2015 7:20:00 AM
Hi Ruth. Your poem aroused my curiosity. I see that it is based on another Ruth's story, "Haven", which is quite interesting. Great poem. I have only one on the subject of the Holocaust, prior to the death camps. The title is "But I Must Stay", a villanelle.
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Sabath Rosenthal Avatar
Ruth Sabath Rosenthal
Date: 2/2/2015 11:14:00 AM
Hi Roy. Thanks for your comments. Much appreciated! I've revised the poem and combined it with 3 poems so it is a 4 part poem titled "Manfred. "I'll be posting it on Poetry Soup soon. It's also on my website "newyorkcitypoetdotcom" I'm updating poem "Manfred" today. I'm always revising! for the better I hope. I'll be looking up your "But I Must Stay" today
Date: 4/11/2014 8:42:00 AM
Hi Ruth, I also enjoyed Mountainside an On the porch
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Date: 4/11/2014 8:39:00 AM
Hi, Ruth, nice to know you. Emotion befell me as I read your poignant , poetic account of the prisoners of those dreaded camps. I admired the manner in which those souls compared their past conditions with the new life style as if they were in heaven. I hope to God that you were not a victim. I really admired your work and you are truly a great poet from whom I can learn. Lets keep in touch.
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