I should have been paying more attention to Stanley Kunitz. This poem is wonderful:
“The Testing-Tree”, section 4
In the recurring dream
   my mother stands
      in her bridal gown
under the burning lilac,
   with Bernard Shaw and Bertie
      Russell kissing her hands;
the house behind her is in ruins;
   she is wearing an owl’s face
      and makes barking noises.
Her minatory finger points.
   I pass through the cardboard doorway
      askew in the field
and peer down a well
   where an albino walrus huffs.
      He has the gentlest eyes.
If the dirt keeps sifting in,
   staining the water yellow,
      why should I be blamed?
Never try to explain.
   That single Model A
      sputtering up the grade
unfurled a highway behind
   where the tanks maneuver,
      revolving their turrets.
In a murderous time
   the heart breaks and breaks
      and lives by breaking.
It is necessary to go
   through dark and deeper dark
      and not to turn.
I am looking for the trail.
   Where is my testing-tree?
      Give me back my stones!
Copyright (c) 1995 Stanley Kunitz
from Passing Through: the Later Poems, New and Selected (via Wood’s Lot)


  1. is lobo some how related to jewish blood line
    what is it plz let me know sir

  2. Argh! You lock the door and they pop through the windows!

  3. Mary-Catherine says

    I’m curious about the last name Stout. I was told to look into it by a Jewish man. I know it doesnt sound like your tipical Jewish name, and thats why I’m so curious. I wear the Star of David because I feel safe with it on. I would be so greatfull if you could help.

  4. Ah the curse of popularity! I’ve never deleted a non-spam comment from my own blog, but in your shoes I’d be heavily tempted.

  5. Lina lukas says

    hi there, I woundering if lukas is a jewish name because when i searching my roots i find Lukas with c Lucas, who have many jews and in a site on a weeb its stood that lukas is a jews name,
    it is true? that Lukas is jewish??
    I will now my roots, my grandmother saids nothing, shes father was Josef Lükas

  6. Yes, you’re Jewish! All of you! NOW GO AWAY!!

  7. lina lukas says

    hi there,
    i have some information about my grandmothers parents; maria lukas (born 1921) och josef lukas(before 1921 in austria??)…they have seven children but in the second world they took them in a children home..
    hope some can help me

  8. Allan Miller says

    Hello, My last name is Miller. I come from a long line of Helmer’s from Germany, who came to America in the 1600 – 1700’s because of religious persecution.One Male Helmer back in the mid 1700’s married a woman named Wolff. Another Helmer woman in the same line of ancestry married a Youngs. My mother, Youngs, married a Miller. I know Miller can go either way. Jewish or Gentile. My question is, “Is Helmer, Wolff or Youngs” found anywhere in Jewish names? Also my wife’s mother’s maiden name was Schwager. Before WWII there were a lot of that name in Europe. What we have come to find out so far is that 55 had been known to have been killed in the Holocaust. Many came over to the US before the war. Of the many that came over, at least half gave their nationality as Hebrew, some gave the country of their birth, and others gave the USA as their nationality. Obviously mistakenly. My wife’s grandfather was one of the ones who gave the USA as his heritage. Were all Schwagers, (all spellings) of Hebrew descent? Or did they take names of the country also.? Also after WWII there apparently were no more Schwagers left in Europe. Any light you can shed on the origin of all mentioned names above would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Allan Miller

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