The three stanzas of this poem have different structures, though the first two are more similar each with 3 lines. However, the second stanza appears identical in structure until we reach the third line which cuts off with a dash. We witness an incomplete thought. The rhyme scheme for these two stanzas follows ABC even including the broken 6th line of the poem (אנשים/רועשים,אמהות/תמהותה). The last stanza of the poem features an ABAB structure, with מברך/הכרך rhyming (noticing that Goldberg could have used the word עיר instead of הכרך), and חכם and הים. The rhyme scheme of the poem is so simple and in so ways innocent- to my ear it parallels the innocence of the poem in recalling childhood.
The childhood that Goldberg recalls is one not just of innocence but also of protection. This song of cradling that many mothers sing invokes a beautiful image and makes me wonder what kind of song it was that its melody alone brought on that sense of comfort to the child. The use of the word אמהות, for me as a reader, automatically brings my thoughts to our Biblical ancestors, the אמהות that are often forgotten in contrast to the אבות. In this poem, these mothers are the ones that bring comfort. While this implies that there must be something which is imposing discomfort, we aren’t privy to that as readers.
In the second stanza, the image Goldberg articulates is fascinating as it multisensory. There’s a brightness of the noisy waves (can you see brightness from noise?) and tales, which are either read or heard, like amazed eyes. The blending of senses actually brings me to a place of a child, as if there’s so much going around me but I don’t have the sophistication to articulate exactly what is happening. Is it the brightness? Is it the noise? Regardless, something amazes me. The image at the end of the poem of seashells on the beach automatically makes me think of children running around to collect these treasures.
The first line of both the first and fourth line of the poem repeat, with the words אבל מי שזכה בירח לבן שכזה
The third and sixth words within this line are so similar that it really forces the reader to focus. It’s just the switch of the ז and כ that create a different word. This repetition of the line adds to the simplicity of the poem in an endearing way.
Upon further reflection, it strikes me that this night-time is merited and it is blessed, it is wise and childlike. The nighttime is usually scary and full of the unknown. Yet Goldberg changes our expectation of what the night-time and what the moon can be.