Art Works Blog

The Neglected Master

Washington, DC

Samuel Menashe. Photo by Martin Duffy

Poet Samuel Menashe doesn't mince words. What he writes is almost like haiku. His brief poems are pure and elegant distillations of larger, complex thoughts and ideas. Today, we'll hear from the poet himself, a man who for the past 50 years has lived in a coldwater flat in Manhattan. He's a poet's poet for whom an award was invented---the Neglected Master---which propelled him into the spotlight at the age of 80. If poetry is economy of language, then Samuel Menashe truly is the master. You'll hear it in the first poem which opens this clip. But listen carefully, it's only 10 words long.

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