Falling from Heaven
Holocaust Poems of a Jew and a Gentile

(co-written by William Heyen)

Hardback and Paperback: 109 pp.
Published: 1991

Price: $18.95, $12.50

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Presenting fifty startling poems — alternating between its authors, a Jew and a Christian — this volume possesses a haunting poignancy unlike any other book of Holocaust poetry.




It has probably been thirty years since a book of poems has affected me the way this one has. . . . Heyen and Brodsky tear the reader from abstractions to images which promise to sear, and to stay.

Four Quarters


Falling from Heaven is a painful and poignant offering which reminds me that none of us has survived the Holocaust without scars. Yet, the distinguished work of the poets gives us the hope . . . we can avoid a recurrence of such horror.

— Maya Angelou, author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings


A breakthrough book in Holocaust literature which will have enduring impact.

— Robert A. Cohn, editor in chief emeritus of the St. Louis Jewish Light





Friday Night Out

He's grown so used to living alone
Living at home
That he never seems to leave anymore
Except on Friday nights,
When he eats at a neighborhood café.
There, he sits amidst phantoms
Escaping flickering tips of candles,
Whose brass sticks are brick chimney stacks,
From which he imagines his parents and sister —
Wax-fattened wicks dripping, evaporating —
Lifting into ashen oblivion.

Whether returning early or late
From his one indulgence,
He slips under freshly pressed shrouds,
Pulls up around his neck
Three woolen blankets, winter and summer,
And counts, from one million down,
Fleeceless Picasso-sheep
Leaping off invisible cliffs,
Into Auschwitz pits beside his bed,
Before sleep inundates him
With Zyklon B-guilements.

For three decades,
He's never abandoned hope
That just one Friday night,
He'll glimpse his deported wife, Leah,
Shimmering in a golden, glowing halo,
On the front stoop of his dreams,
Greeting him home, again.


To read my interview with Charles Adès Fishman, about my writing on the Holocaust, please click here.




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