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on August 10, 2014
Uvi Poznansky had a father, like most of us; a family, as most of us do for a time. But this father was a gifted writer, as his daughter is gifted. This book is partly written by Uvi's father, Zeev Kachel, and partly by her own deep heart. This is no book for the faint of heart, nor a book to read casually. This book is full of love and pathos and grief. So take a deep gulp of the human condition, and read Home -- a book, a compilation, a struggle of the self.

This book is about emotion and the strength that sadness can evoke in the best of us. Uvi understands at a gut level the purpose of art and here she writes a frame around her father's journey, which has inspired her own.

Poznansky gives us a glimpse of lives most different, of her father's journey, of her own. If you've disdained the search for a higher octave of writing on Kindle, recant: "Home" proves you wrong. In this book, the author shows us the world through an unblinking eye. And what we see, we may not like: humanity torn open, a father lost, life among the ruins of a single soul.

Be warned: this book is dark; it must be to take us where it wants to go, to guide us through a storm of feeling. Zeev Kachel's numerous poems in "Home" share his loneliness, his talent -- and hers as she writes, evoking a spirit from beyond life's end.

I have well reviewed Uvi Poznansky before, but this book is special, even for a writer as gifted as she. Of her father, I knew nothing. Now I know more. And I am certain that talent is inheritable: we must thank the father for the daughter, and the daughter for writing a book this brave. The poems and stories here take us through war and displacement and despair, and back again. Its visions (not so much about horror directly, but about what horrors and inhumanity do to us all, soul by soul) have a message for us, about what humanity can be, for better and for worse. Why do we care? Because, if we're not vigilant, these things will happen again to more fathers, to more daughters. And again. And it is the single voices which cry out in misery (those who have lost their faith as well as those who regain it), whose words we need to hear. This book takes us on a personal journey, not a political one, into the heart of our kind.

The triumph of "Home" is that it was ever written at all.

Read "Home" and be the better for it.
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on August 31, 2014
Although I have read several of Ms. Poznansky's books, none have touched me more deeply than Home. Before the first 10 pages, I was not only in tears, but that melancholic ache that I often feel when hearing certain pieces of music, or reading about Ireland and Scotland (where my ancestors came from) descended deeply into my chest, and as of yet not faded. I suppose that part of the ache is because I can feel tiny parts of the horror that not only Holocaust survivors lived through, but the survivor's children as well. That great cost of inexplicable evil should never be forgotten. Both the prose and the poetry stirred me deeply, and I wept for that boy who endured so much, the angry man who could not control his darkness, and the lonely man who had no idea how his words would soar and live. Both authors are forever embedded into my soul. It was an honor and privilege to read.
14 helpful votes
15 helpful votes
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This is an incredible book of poems and prose written by Ms. Poznansky and her father, Zeek Kachel. Uvi found the latest writings of her father when she went 'home' for Shiva - a and never knew that they existed. She spent one year carefully translating them from Hebrew into English ensuring the translation was as correct as possible.

It is extremely rare that a book creates such an emotional read as this one did for me. I had to stop several times to completely digest the words written on the pages. Due to the personal nature of both Uvi's and her Father's poems, I felt like I was trespassing into their private worlds. Yes, I was invited into their worlds but the prose and the poetry contained therein are both deep and meaningful. I could feel the pain of the Father when lamenting about his wife's absence. I could feel the pain of Uvi when lamenting about being lonely in 'Even One Mark'. And, I am still pondering 'Blade' which was written in 2004. These are raw emotions that are somehow eloquently expressed with grace.

The entire gamut of human emotions is covered in this book - heartbreak, loneliness, questions of 'why', death and living, life and loving and even war and the instinct to survive. 'Somehow it feels lighter in the dark' is one quote that sums the book up well.

Most highly recommended.
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on November 28, 2015
Poems and short stories, really a collection of thoughts concerning life and home. Well written with a beautiful theme to them,. The author does a great job invoking feelings of love, loss and life. I found this book thought provoking and heart touching.
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on August 13, 2013
"HOME" ~ Reviewed by Ia Uaro

Book Title: Home
Poetry and prose by authors: Zeel Kachel and Uvi Poznansky
ISBN: 978-0-9849932-3-9

Zeev Kachel, son of a Russian Jewish family, was born in 1912, on the eve of the First World War. When German declared war on August 1, 1914 and its army marched into Russia, his parents bundled him and his sister into the wagon, leaving behind their store and worldly belongings, to escape for the lives.
"Ma, why did you fool me," Zeev was still bleeding as 70 years later his pen dripped "We Were Born in Darkness",
"what was it for,
When you sang me a lullaby, not a song of war?
Oh why did you hide the fateful truth from me
We were born in darkness, our life--not to be?"

Welcome to the poetry world of Zeev, beautifully rendered into English by his daughter Uvi Poznansky. He was a man of passion with the ability to capture it in his work, as Uvi aptly calls it. You can't but be emotionally affected by Zeev's powerful laments of loss. Of a child after his mother has departed,
"I had travelled to a place so alien, so cold
How bitter it had felt, to you I never told.
How you waited to receive a word from me, a letter..."

I feel a very special connection to Zeev. To me his moving words provoke long-forgotten memories, tucked away because they were too painful to remember, or to share. I could just imagine his agony as he wrote,
"You're asking me to record, on paper to pour
All that I lost, my esteemed counselor?"

And bravely he wrote, and wrote and wrote and wrote. Of very beautiful things that are only beautiful while they last, "Lie to me boldly, don't misgive"
Poetry is cruel honesty--and here is Zeev baring his soul, driving us to share his pain of the well-captured memories,
"For that lost moment, how I pine!"
of his confusion,
"Is this really the path I envisioned?
Then why is the night here so black?"

And yet even as he anguished over his loneliness, "In a night with not a friend, all's bleary," his daughter had understood him. His lucky daughter, in whom he has carved: "I am a poem, I inspire"

Five stars.
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on September 10, 2013
I was penetrated by a pouring rain
And for a moment, somehow, I felt alive again
Sensing me, the worms began to rave
I plucked a wildflower from my grave.

These four lines written by Zeev Kachel and translated by his daughter Uvi Poznansky resonated with me like no other poetry in English ever had. They seemed to have reached something deep in my soul. I was surprised and enchanted and kept reading, enjoying every line of this emotional collection and wondering what it was that kept drawing me in. Eventually, after reading through Uvi's blog, I figured out what that mysterious soul connection was: when Uvi was little, her father used to read to her the poetry of Pushkin, a beloved Russian poet and one of my favorite writers of all time, in Russian. She didn't understand the words until he translated them for her, but the rhythm, the sound, and the soul of his poetry must have reached Uvi through the linguistic barrier. Quite amazing. But let me share a few of my favorite lines from "Home."

Things are no longer
Where things ought to be
Who is this stranger
Is it still me?

These lines, written by Uvi, appeal to me because of the profound meaning behind their apparent simplicity. As life moves forward and we get busy with everyday activities, we tend not to notice the passage of time, only to stop one day and suddenly realize how much life has changed around us and how much we ourselves have changed.

Another emotion that I was drawn to is that of life-affirming defiance no matter what life's circumstances are. Just take a look at this stanza (also by Uvi):

Sing out a ballad of passion and hate
Sing it out as you drown, and ignore that date
Someone may notice, may listen out there
So quicken the pounding, sing out with a flair

My interpretation of this idea of "singing a ballad" is that music and song are some of the purest, most ancient, and most raw ways to express emotions "with a flair."

As I read further and got to the section of the book that contains poetry written by Uvi's father, Zeev Kachel (and translated by Uvi), I could see the similarities in their spirit. In the two lines below, the idea that life is not nearly as sweet and innocent as we often expect, is expressed eloquently and concisely:

Ma, why did you fool me, what was it for,
When you sang me a lullaby, not a song of war?

And more life-affirming defiance in these next lines:

In the distance, you seem to spot a shelter
But all I see is an endless universe
Come on, Troika! Snow sparkles on your lashes
Let's charge to the horizon, let us charge our course!

What I see here is the spirit of independence, the idea of finding your own way, of moving forward fearlessly with no thought of resting, stopping, hiding, or seeking refuge from adversity - strong emotions eloquently expressed. The feelings behind these poems reminded me of the poetry of Anna Akhmatova, a famous Russian modernist poet who lived through and wrote about Stalinist terror.

This poetry collection by Uvi and her father shines with the same spirit of defiance in the face of a great loss, combines lyrical poetry with a strong voice, and presents rhymes that reverberate with the rhythm of our hearts and our lives. Highly recommended.
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on June 17, 2013
A book with beautifully written poems and prose. It opens with a daughter writing about her father and some special memories attached to the armchair. I
like the rhyme pattern and the flow of the poetry
It reveals, it unveils a clue (from Muse)
Essay - A Sentence Unfinished - is a heavy read. Uvi describes a scene where her father sitting in his armchair remembering his escapes from the Nazi to Spain to Israel. The other chapters follow with her father as a child (I guess she has heard the stories over the years). His family running from invasion during World War 1 abandoning their home town (German invasion).

With father's day just passing, there some honor in her translating her father's poems. Then there is her father's poem "Bent over Memories" reminiscing on his daughter when she was younger while looking at children playing in the park:

No longer will I carry you in my arms, little girl" and
"Now I am alone.
Supported by memories...
Sitting in the park for hours
Watching someone else's children."
Verse conveys strong feelings - daughter far away but the children playing reminds him of time spent when his daughter was younger.

Overall a good read that out pours the emotion and provides some insight on life:
"I Plucked a Wildflower" - Funny but morbid to write about own funeral, the mourners you don't know and the debt you left behind. Humor that no interest on the other side. Take that banks!
If i had to choose a favorite, it would be "We Pass" due to the contrast of fall and spring, how we are now and how we used to be (symbolized by the couple who passed embracing). Fall (when leaves separate from the trees) and fail relationship - the comparison noted.

Sorry for the spoilers but I enjoyed reading Home.
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on March 3, 2016
I got goosebumps throughout this book. The manner in which the words are written are the most bone chillingly, expressive I've ever read. Very talented writer, great work. Looking forward to reading more from the author.
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on January 24, 2014
I was dazed with the beautiful enormity of emotions as I read through the pages of this eloquent read. The range in which this read has stretched my heart and soul through an abundant of emotions that have enraptured my mind. I found myself laughing with joy for the wonder of greatness felt. Angry when taken through the edges of selfish irony, and pausing as I try to ascertain the meaning of a secret thought or look upon the face of the individual expressed within a poem or short story being penned. My tears then flowed when I found myself caught up in the agony of the moments within a touching story spoken of through the pages titled "A Heartbeat Reversed".

I have read work from this author once or twice before, and each time I'm taken in with amazement and my intellect and emotions are further stretched, enlightened and richly nourished. Author Uvi Poznansky has an amazing and brilliant way of taking you within a world through the pages of her novels that touches heritage, poetic prose, artistic creativity and talented writing.
Once again I am in awe as I am also equally saddened to have completed another truly touching read by this author. Only because reading for the first time gives you a special something that can never be a first again, but I have definitely been embraced and overwhelmed to the point that I will be picking it up again. Hoping to capture the feelings I felt once more...... Absolutely 5 Stars!!! (WaAr) (Read 2 de Enero/January 2014.)

Read and Reviewed by: De Ann "Native" Townes Jr. Author of "Peer Inside My Soul and See Me" and "A King Among Prince"
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on December 7, 2012
For me, traditional poetry is an expression of the subconscious feelings through mundane means of imperfect words. As such, the simpler are the words the poet manages to beat into the confines of a rhyme, the higher is the mastery of this poet.

I admit, this is only an opinion of a man who abandoned poetry long time ago in order to write silly jokes and, what one could only hope, snappy punchlines. Those with more artistic souls would probably have a much better definition of what the poetry is for them, with finer words inserted in all the strategically correct places to maximize the emotional and intellectual impact. If I had that talent, I'd still be a poet. Instead, I am reduced to being a critic of the works of others. Let's see how it works out.

I liked this piece, it's called "This is the Place":

This is the place where he put pen to paper...
But clung to the wall, the shelves are now bare
All that remains of his words is but vapor
All you can spot is but a dent in his chair

Simple words, tight syllabic rhyme. The timing of the second line is standing out and creates the feeling of being unsettled and expectation of something looming just beyond the wall. Second stanza continues in the same way but the third and fourth stanzas switch to two and two type of rhyme without the emphasis:

He used to sit here, here he would stare
Years come, years go, an old clock keeping score,
He would scribble his notes, crumple them in despair
Waiting for his savior-- but locking that door

The poem above was written by Uvi Poznansky. Now a sample of the poem by her father, Zeev Kachel:

My first art teacher was the chill
The chill that painted forests and cities
Across my window pane, with icicles and frost

Please keep in mind, this is a translation. It's written in an expressive tradition of the Eastern European school and reminds me slightly of the later poetry of Alexander Blok. Another fine example:

I'm a different man today.
Not the one you know
You can come back
If you will.

I'm a different man today, without a hat I go
But in my heart-- there's still.
I'm a different man.

The splattered rhyme and short lines accentuate the impact of these simple words. I rather like it. I think that being a guy, I respond more to the power of the works of Zeev Kachel. Of course, Uvi Poznansky was the one who translated them so she gets just as much credit here.

There are also a few short stories written by Uvi. Her prose is written in high Literary writing style, present tense and all the inner explorations of the characters one could hope for. I would so wish this author would try to write something like a detective novel, or perhaps a romantic story. Letting her hair down and not worrying about arranging her sentence in a perfect order to create the word picture that is as esthetically pleasing to look at as it sounds... Perhaps then we could see what Uvi Poznansky can really do with her prose. Nothing against any of the pieces here, they are all fine bits of writing; just an idle curiosity of a book critic who is wondering what else this author is capable of.

This is a fine book for those of us who do enjoy more elegant things in life. The cover art alone is probably worth the price of admission.
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