or The Lost Language of Justice poems in Israel's cause

By E. Kam-Ron

Cover Illustration: Hope, digital photograph by Reva Sharon
Cover: Adam Propp 972-57-5843804
Printed in 2009
E. Kam Ron's "Fortitude, or The Lost Language of Justice" is an exceptional collection of poetry. E. Kam-Ron is not only a poet of great craftsmanship, but she is also a twenty-first century prophet standing in the gate of the city as both the champion of Israel in a hostile world, and as a castigator of those who embrace illusions and delusions.  In poem after poem she continues in the tradition of Bialik and U.Z. Greenberg, the great Hebrew poet-prophets of the twentieth century.  This highly-original book contains haunting lyric poems as well in which the poet expresses her prayer that God may 'gather us and establish us in compassion.' E. Kam-Ron speaks to us in a unique and distinctive voice. I highly recommend this book.
Yakov Azriel, author of Threads from a Coat of Many Colors: Poems on Genesis and In The Shadow of a Burning Bush: Poems on Exodus

E. Kam Ron's Fortitude is a work of fastidious craftsmanship, by a poet of fine and steadfast spirit who rejects the current wave of relativism to speak of eternal truths.  Such fearless poems as “You Almost Remember” and “The Café at Aza and Ben Maimon” confront the pain of the beloved people and the beloved land head-on.  Yet the poet never abandons the lyricism of the English language, most evident in the love-song “This Time of Year Around Jerusalem.”  This is poetry of remarkable stature.
Shira Twersky-Cassel, author of Blackbird, Secret Life of the Birds, and A Poet's Diary.

These are strong partisan songs in beautiful language.
Miriam Chaikin, author of Alexandra’s Scroll: The Story of the First Chanukah and Angel Secrets: Stories Based on Jewish Legend.

Whether one stands in daylight at the edge of the sea or in the midst of the desert, the experience is a measuring of self against the vastness of creation and the riches and terrors brought in by the waves or the streams of light and shadow on the landscape. The poems of E. Kam-Ron in this collection bring to the reader the same ebb and flow and touch deeply into the soul and the heart.
These beautifully crafted poems span the millennia of Jewish life, experience, religion and peoplehood with lyricism and wisdom. There is an abundance of passion which reaches to limits that are shaped and kept from overflow by her exquisite use of form. Yes, Kam-Ron uses form in a time when most modern poetry is free verse, and thus these poems are both modern and timeless. In Hebrew the word shirim means both poems and songs, and E. Kam-Ron has created verses that are truly shirim.
The terrorism that has been visited on Israel is included and questioned in poems like "The Café at Aza and Ben Maimon." This poem refers to the bombing of a Jerusalem Café that sits at a crossroads where in quiet times the poet met with an admired poet friend to share Whitman and Shelley and the “harsh truths about our present…” The elder poet’s defiant words in a past conversation, “Someday humanity will grow up!” are recalled, and Kam-Ron says: “I do not suppose it will now. What chance has talk and amity, … the growth of thought, with those who die to kill…. But Kam-Ron’s hope does not die; another poem begins, “Never say that there is nothing you can do.”
This is a collection of powerful poems, songs of love and loss, wandering and return, and the bonds of Jewish history, life and continuity. Bravo! Bravo! Beauty has been created by E. Kam-Ron that shimmers in the rhythms of the sea and the desert.
- Reva Sharon, author of Pool of the Morning Wind



In years when I was parted from the land
Yet bound to it by ties that could not slip
I made these songs of dual citizenship
Although uncertain who would understand
How Israel, whose praise is all but banned,
And an atemporal style that’s lost its grip
On credibility among the hip
Could lend each other strength so as to stand.

Yet in my mind that style was always linked
To human dignity, integrity,
And steadfastness in knowing what to think.
Go then, my songs, to those who would not be
Distracted from just thoughts by oil-gold’s clink,
And say “Chazak!”* to hope and loyalty.

* Chazak (Hebr.): be strong


I heard a voice from deep within the land
say “Tell them so that they will understand.

“Our enemies are many, we are few.
This is the land that we were driven to.

“Among ourselves we are divided, and
those who'd betray us have the upper hand.

“They have denied the teaching we were taught,
have given away the lands that we had bought

with our sons' blood, and have abandoned those
who trusted us to the fury of our foes.

“And though against all this we loudly spoke,
we now must share the guilt, being of one folk.

aye, and the blame for what must now be done
lest we be altogether overrun.

“Yet still we clasp the treasure we were shown,
which was not given to us for us alone.

“Could you but see all that we have in store,
you would hold fast to us, and would ignore

the voice of our deluded and our weak
who at your courts for vain advantage seek.

“Hold fast, hold fast to us, and stem the rout
of the good! Let not the Sabbath's light go out

on Earth, and leave it prey to utter strife,
lest rage expunge all trace of human life!

“Yet there is One who will not let us fail
at last. Hold fast to us. We shall prevail.

“We shall come through this strait to mend the earth,
And peace will come, and freedom have new birth.”