Tree of Life and Other Poems (Paperback)
Included are various kodak moments in colors of local flora and prejudice, i.e., mostly in shades of autumn and beige. As Isabel Wilkerson reminds and this author has always suspected, as non-Anglo-Saxon and not Protestant, his whiteness is only "honorary," and not of the kind that made America "great." His father, however, was besotted in youth by the Covenanter Calvinism of Geneva College, which has since mixed in with the author's own love for the Tridentine Mass, pre-Vatican II. There is also a bissel Yiddish. The author's life has indeed been as in a melding pot of stovetop tzimmis. A few of these poems have been set to song by Pittsburgh area composers, but by reading the book, you won't come away humming the tunes. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jonathan Solomon was born into optimism of the post-war baby boom's first class. His formal education began at Saints Phillips and James, after which he entered his neighborhood elementary school. He spent most of his life in New Castle, PA, residing within a few blocks of his place of birth, not too far from the Ohio line. There his parents were also born, and together they soaked in the same Scotch-Irish Calvinism distilled by the city's public schools, pre-Madeline Murray O'Hare. He and Nanette Kaplan Solomon, a concert pianist, have been married since 1978. On October 27, 2018, they had just moved to Pittsburgh, where they live in the late Michael Benedum's bedroom, less than a mile down Woodland Road from Tree of Life Synagogue. Their son, Ben, tends bar in Greenwich Village and lives on the Upper West Side. Their daughter, Rachel, a photographer, died a resident of Parma Heights, Ohio. Some of these poems are inspired by her photos included in the book. The poems here are mostly true. They represent a seeker's tussle with God through pilgrimages as Romanist and Hebrew navigating in Protestant mid-America. You can come, too.