“Mantua, 1606” – 2nd Place, Raynes Poetry Competition

  • Mantua, 1606” Second Place, Raynes Poetry Competition judged by Joan Larken. Published in Jewish Currents, Spring 2015.

jewish currents raynes contest copy
“Mantua, 1606”
2nd Prize, 2014 Raynes Poetry Competition, Joan Larkin, Judge
Jewish Currents, April 2014

His Grace, Duke Gonzaga, exempted

Salomoni Rossi Hebreo,

respected court musician and composer,

from wearing the mandatory Jews’

Yellow Badge of Shame

Rossi always kept tucked

in his sleeve as he walked

from Mantua’s ghetto to the court

he fingered it like his viol,

polyphonic voices winding

in his head singing

the badge of shame was pride

no badge of shame was shame

no badge of shame was pride

the badge of shame was shame

as he walked

the no-man’s land between

the ghetto and the court

© 2013 Michael Jackman

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