TOUCHING THE HARPSTRINGS: Songs of the Heart, Mind, and Soul

TOUCHING THE HARPSTRINGS: Songs of the Heart, Mind, and Soul
    Price: $17.00

    TOUCHING THE HARPSTRINGS: Songs of the Heart, Mind, and Soul

    by David Haskell Cohen

    Hardcover, 95 pages
    Devora Publishing, Urim Publications, 2010
    ISBN: 978-193-444-070-4

    This unusual book of poems by David Haskell Cohen was written mostly in the last fifty years, in classical English verse. There are many variations in form, beat and rhythm. Sonnet form is a favorite, but even there subtle variations abound.

    As a London taxi driver famously asked the philosopher Bertrand Russell: "What's it all abaht then?" The critic can honestly reply that all of life is here-but he had better quickly add that there is a powerful body of verse in which a Jew is pleading with Heaven.

    There are great lines in these poems, but his has been a largely undiscovered talent.

    "Mine is the offering most beloved of man
    A poor one's broken pieces in a pan

    I saw a line of purple blossoms lying
    Along a city roadside drain
    And there were golden petals sighing
    Shaken down by wind and rain
    Surely hints which heaven ever flings
    Upon our laboured, dowdy, man-made things

    And so I go about at ambling pace
    Looking through the windows in my face" 

    About the Author:
    David Haskell Cohen was born in 1925 and raised in the small Iraqi-Jewish community of Calcutta in British India. He was educated at St Xavier's College, in those days affiliated to Cambridge University. His first poem, 'Reading', was written at the age of sixteen and another early poem, 'If I Could', appeared in the Times Illustrated Weekly of India in 1949.

    He worked as a copywriter at the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency in Calcutta. Then, in a career spanning London and New Delhi, he became a journalist with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the Times of India, PTI/Reuters, the Indian Express (as News Editor) and l'Humanit.

    Upon settling in London in 1958, he worked for several advertising agencies as copywriter before becoming creative director and owner of his own agency, Cohen and Company, in Mayfair.

    In 1995, now retired, he moved to Israel, joining his sons and their families. He and his wife live in Jerusalem where his itinerary includes studying the daily Talmud page, reading from his wide-ranging library, and writing poetry.