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Peter Menkin

Mill Valley, CA United States

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  • 6 reviews
  • 6 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2014
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  • Interview: Poet/Translator Peter Cole Talks About Kabbalah and His Jewish Poetry

    • UNABRIDGED (31 mins)
    • By Peter Menkin
    • Narrated By Ralph Morocco
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    In another of the ongoing series with Anglican and Christian poets this religion writer chose to interview Jewish poet and translator Peter Cole. One of his agents suggested a Jewish poet, though Ofer Ziv of Blue Flower Arts knew the series was made up of Christians and Anglicans. The mystic, poet, and secular Jewish married man of letters who is a scholar is reticent to use the word God in an interview, and even reticent to admit to a belief in the Almighty. Yet this religious and spiritual scholar and poet has a recent book of translations of works from the Kabbalah in the book titled The Poetry of Kabbalah: Mystical Verse from the Jewish Tradition.

    Peter Menkin says: "Remarkable short interview with poet and scholar"
    "Remarkable short interview with poet and scholar"
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    What did you love best about Interview: Poet/Translator Peter Cole Talks About Kabbalah and His Jewish Poetry?

    It gets to the point and has a wry sense of humor. There is much said about the poet and scholar in the interview with him, though it is a short interview: pithy.


    What did you like best about this story?

    No punches pulled.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I like where the poet reveals his sensibilities of poetic sensibilities.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Surprised at the scholars honesty.


    Any additional comments?

    I am the author of the interview reviewing his own work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Prose Poem: All the Gods on the Front Lawn

    • UNABRIDGED (7 mins)
    • By Peter Menkin
    • Narrated By A. T. Chandler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    An old Ford with simple carburetor called a farm vehicle from 1965, the all steel monster filling the end of the driveway against the sidewalk and white picket fence is adorned with gods, figures, wicked and mean creatures of plaster and perhaps sculpted elves. Mixed among the flowers by the walk, and towards the west where the mountains stand before the ocean begins is a line-up of gods like headstones for memory of previous tenants in this rooming house among the redwood trees.

    Peter Menkin says: "True personal story of living in boarding house..."
    "True personal story of living in boarding house..."
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    Would you consider the audio edition of Prose Poem: All the Gods on the Front Lawn to be better than the print version?

    One hallmark of this audio book, other than the wonderful price, is the reading by A.T. Chandler. He brings the piece to life well. So I think. To say it is better than the print version is another matter, for that asks that a reader fails to bring certain values and meanings of the imagination that are in themselves very special and maybe better than an audio book. I say, this audio book is excellent, no doubt. A.T. Chandler is a superior narrator, no doubt.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The ethos of the place is my favorite character, for it is in the character of this particular rooming hour, caught at the very beginning with all the gods and goddesses of the garden that a chord and theme is struck. God help us all.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There is a kind of emptiness in this rooming house, and it is in the description of their bags and in the guests temporary way of living that I am caught with a favorite sense of the place. But since this is a true story, and I did live there, know many people lived in the rooming house for years.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Frankly, I found the story kind of sad--when I thought about it. This was not the best rooming house in the county. The man who owned it was very nice. The location was great. But it was run down. Too bad for it was in a very class town in Northern California just outside San Francisco in Marin County.


    Any additional comments?

    Frankly, again, I wrote this prose poem in one sitting. A.T. Chandler did a very good job of narrating the piece. Some have been critical of the way he did it. I thought his interpretation just right. See what you think. It is a true story, about a real place.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Opossum That Came To Visit, Revise from 1999: Prose Poem

    • UNABRIDGED (6 mins)
    • By Peter Menkin
    • Narrated By Crystal A. Sershen
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    That's what the cats that lived in the house said about her. They also said that she was one of the homeliest creatures they'd ever set sights on and in their conversations about. Tilde, whom they liked to talk about since she was new. They never once questioned where she came from or where she might be going.

    Peter Menkin says: "This sweet story has an Opossum in it and racoons"
    "This sweet story has an Opossum in it and racoons"
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    What did you love best about The Opossum That Came To Visit, Revise from 1999?

    This sweet story was written by me when my mother was alive and is based on a true story of an Opossum who lived under Christa's back porch. I loved best that she had imagination and was determined to live with the so many animals that lived around that big house on all that property that Christa's mother owned on that gated huge lot with the stream. True story, I say. I made it up myself, so I should know.


    What other book might you compare The Opossum That Came To Visit, Revise from 1999 to and why?

    Good question. I read this story at Church and I am sorry to say, but right now I can't remember. My friends who heard it at Church had all kinds of complimentary other stories to compare it with. That was very complimentary for me. If I say so myself, I read it quite well. They said so, too.


    Which character – as performed by Crystal A. Sershen – was your favorite?

    She has such good timing. Crystal reads children's stories and I was lucky to have her. I was lucky she would read the story. It is a short one. Just like a toy, I sometimes think.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I just love this little story. It has so many moments like dancing in the moonlight. The time when the racoons get together to plot, or when it is revealed that the Opossum has a radio in her apartment that is below the deck where she lives behind Christa's house. As I say, true story. Christa lived alone and loved animals, by the way. That is not in the story.


    Any additional comments?

    Originally, I printed this story on a little flyer. It went nowhere but to friends. Then it was a quiet little story. Finally, I decided it was worth showing. And now it is an audio book read by the talented Crystal A. Sershen. That Opossum has come a long way baby! Sweet story, if you ask me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Seasons of Faith: Religious and Spiritual Poetry

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 21 mins)
    • By Peter Menkin
    • Narrated By William Bailey III
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    Seasons of Faith: Religious and Spiritual Poetry captures listeners' senses and give them a reflective experience - allowing them to boost their spirit and inspire them to live a meaningful life. Spiritually inspiring, filled with insights, and life altering, Seasons of Faith: Religious and Spiritual Poetry is engaging poetry that everyone will surely enjoy.

    Peter Menkin says: "An avant reading by African American in warm tones"
    "An avant reading by African American in warm tones"
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    Where does Seasons of Faith rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I wrote this book and hired William Bailey III who starts the book reading the ISBN number. This is avante for a book of religious poetry, to say the least. Persevere for William has a warm voice of African American style and of the books I've listened to this one is special, if I may say so. It is a book dear to me as I favor this book of poetry of mine.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Seasons of Faith?

    Two poems stand out among the man right now: The poem that describes living a life of contemplation, (Apophatic Prayer) and the poem that describes time in a hospital emergency room. There are many other poems, and I think a reader will find a number of special ones--most like prayers.


    Which character – as performed by William Bailey III – was your favorite?

    I think the poem Apophatic Prayer is read very well by William Bailey III. It is a long and unusual poem about living a contemplative life. Willliam has a deep, rich, and warm voice--quite the unusual thing for this white man's poem, or what is usually a white man's poem. He wanted to do it, and I went for it.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    The book is too long for me and the poems too long in some instances for me to absorb them in so lengthy a sitting as one time. I enjoy going back over them. But bear with William. He is an unusual reader and narrator. Some people who have bought the book read it before bed or on awakening for they find the poems like prayers.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a high brow kind of set of poems. Get ready for them to be read emotionally. This is unusual for think thinkk poetry, but I am glad to have the emotional content revealed so well and so evidently well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Film Review: Notes and Comments on the Documentary, 'Be Home Soon': A Reflection on the Movie by Melissa Howden

    • UNABRIDGED (34 mins)
    • By Peter Menkin
    • Narrated By Barbara H. Scott
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    An interview with filmmaker Melissa Howden about her grandfather, US Army Chaplain "Ted" Howden. Chaplain Howden is considered a holy man by many. He was an Episcopal Priest who died in WW II in a POW camp.

    Peter Menkin says: "Fine man of holy character on his heaven's love"
    "Fine man of holy character on his heaven's love"
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    What made the experience of listening to Film Review: Notes and Comments on the Documentary, 'Be Home Soon' the most enjoyable?

    I admit I turned this story around for the filmmaker was angry with her grandfather and he was a holy man. But that story is here, too. So the conflict of a granddaughter's love for a grandfather is apparent. And he served his country with more than honor, with holiness. All say that.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Film Review: Notes and Comments on the Documentary, 'Be Home Soon'?

    As author of the interview and narrative of reporting the story I was surprised at the filmmakers anger at her grandfather and the church. There was not just one moment of this significant fact. But that is just my opinion.


    What about Barbara H. Scott’s performance did you like?

    Oh, yes. She has a very good voice and it has a distinct sound to it. You will agree, she is good and narrates this well: intelligently.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    That the prayers in the book of holy men and woman prayed for this man who was a Chaplian. I found that quite moving and was surprised he was in the book. But I am religious, myself, so that would have meaning to me.


    Any additional comments?

    This is really a story of World War II and the effect one man's going to war had on his family. For me, as writer of the narrated documentary news piece, it told of a granddaughter's reaction to a holy grandfather and her disaffection to the Church and religion. It did not captivate her or move her to faith. I found this surprising, personally. And edifying in a historic sense. It told of her generation's values, if I may editorialize outside the documentary.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Interview: Robert Siegel, poet of Maine, USA, Speaks on His Work: Ongoing Series of Conversations with Anglican and Christian Poets

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 36 mins)
    • By Peter Menkin
    • Narrated By Ralph Morocco
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    For my way of thinking, the work of a poet is the result of a gift. This is especially true of a poet who writes poetry of faith. Robert H. Siegel of Maine, USA, is a man with a gift. He is also a man who writes poetry that reflects his faith while writing about God's creatures, animals and such, in a lovely way that a naturalist can love. So I believe.

    Peter Menkin says: "Late Siegel a fine poet with sense of humor"
    "Late Siegel a fine poet with sense of humor"
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    What made the experience of listening to Interview: Robert Siegel, poet of Maine, USA, Speaks on His Work the most enjoyable?

    As the author of this lengthy interview Robert Siegel did an informative and colorful job so intelligently presented. The addendum of his poetry was a delight: the pig poem the best.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    His contemplative sensibility struck me strongest and was a kind of character in itself. I enjoyed his mentioning the monk Bruno Barnhart, a kind of legend himself.


    Have you listened to any of Ralph Morocco’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    He has done a number of narrations for me and is quite good. He is clear, and can emote in the right places but does not overdo it for his style is straighforward and documentary news.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I have difficulty listening to these kinds of things in one sitting. I want to savor them, for there is poetry in them and i go back and listen.


    Any additional comments?

    Since the original documentary interview appeared Church of England Newspaper, London and this audio book was narrated the poet passed away. Rest in peace Professor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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