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I sat on the carousel horse.

Up and down and forward

the painted steed moved.

 

To my right I saw the

chimney smoke catch

fire. A fine ash settled

on everything.

 

Our house was comfortable,

snug and warm in the winter.

 

In the spring the strange

thin people tended the

garden, so that my sister

and me could have fresh

vegetables.

 

When I was thirteen, I was

given my own lovely

Telefunken radio. I enjoyed

the dance music and the

love stories. I too hoped

one day to find romance.

 

 

 

Author’s Note: These poems are about the reaction of the German classical music establishment, supreme during the Weimar period, to the coming of Hitler. And of course they are about twentieth century Jewish history.

 

 

 

Stephen Kaplan: I was born in 1936. I will be eighty next March (2016). I have worked as a painter and poet since my late teens. In 2000 I was awarded a Pollack-Krasner Foundation grant in painting. My paintings can be seen on their web site pkf.org, scroll to grantees and then my name, Stan Kaplan. When I publish poetry I use Stephen Kaplan. I was nine when the war ended and for the first time I saw survivors who came to visit us at our Brooklyn apartment. Then came the photographs and newsreels. As a working artist, I was interested in the life and work of the artists I admired, in particular those of the twentieth century, and their reaction to the horrendous events they lived through, consequently these poems. My poems have been published in a number of journals, the most relevant being Midstream, and two New York City themed anthologies, Tokens and Bridges.
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