I Used To Listen To The Train At Night

By Stanley Mann

48 pages in English and Hebrew
Cover: Yehudit Ben-Yosef
Translations into Hebrew Reuven Ben-Yosef
Printed in 2008
Stanley Mann's poems present us with a picture of today's America: mechanized, and so rushed that it cannot stop to hear its heart beat or to feel. In this desolate commotion the solitary poet travels on a train or a bus, or remains inside and his words are few but his reserved statements are very precise. The heart whose silent feelings can't be heard outside, bursts out of its frame and turns the small daily events into sensitive strength. This way all of our small daily events take on a spiritual aspect and relate to the Creator as the poet says in the last line of this book: "Who gave all!"
Reuven Ben-Yosef

A book of poetry that starts out on a small days journey to the Long Island with the poet with himself on a wandering. The poems reveal a simple world of child longing - and Gardens and Nature and Musing cats that watch the world. Beneath the surface of quietness are walks in the once vacant land with the simple transportation of old trains and sleepy bus connections. In one poem we sit as a fantasy tale is woven about the child who takes his friends on "waters of yesterday." We see unfulfilled dreams on the streets and places that just somehow remained the same in the ancient city of Jerusalem. In another poem there are descriptions of the place of Zichron Yaakov, the one that is perched high with its slight semblance to the Garden of Eden and we walk to the house on the hill where "a child was born" with the "sweet smells - of honeysuckle" somewhere on the path in the land of Israel. We see images of memories and stories that are revealed in the photo on the wall of a time past and we walk along "The River that has a quality" of its own. In one poem we hear a cry in the Middle of the Night - for the innocent killed by those who want to disrupt the world - "That Day," we see a morning of a day of the old world that was and will no longer be as the trains wait to take the innocent to the waiting camps of the Shoah - Just before the "morning mist". We feel the unusual heat of the Holy City that makes the heart beat hard as long table talks take place with cool plans of dividing the Holiness and you "think of when the city was besieged and HaShem left." We wake up early in the little innocence of the city and its morning shutters and windowsill African Violets that have a life of there own among the morning buses with people going to work. In one poem we accompany the retired lady on her trip of special "treats" and lastly we peep through the window and share the things the world doesn't know - of a son and mother sitting at the table with a simple repast talking "the little talk" as the times of aging movements take place with small errands just to somehow try to make life a little more comfortable before the inevitable sands of time. These then are the poems, each individual with a little occasional stop on that small journey to every-mans "Long Island Sound." >



The desert sand wafts and my thoughts turn
    round the corners of the dunes.
Sunday afternoons and the day familiarzed
    itself with the evening was the time when
I climbed the steps to the bakery and
    bought a chocolate layer, or was it a mocha cake?
I took the treasure home -
    and we partook with a cup of coffee
On the gray formica table -
And the table of Kings shared -
    nothing Better.