Charles Reznikoff (1894-1976), the son of Russian garment workers, was an American original: a blood-and-bone New Yorker, a collector of images and stories who walked the city from the Bronx to the Battery and breathed the soul of the Jewish immigrant experience into a lifetime of poetry. He wrote narrative poems based on Old Testament sources. Above all, he wrote spare, intensely visual, epigrammatic poems, a kind of urban haiku. The language of these short poems is as plain as bread and salt, their imagery as crisp and unambiguous as a Charles Sheeler photograph. But their meaning is only hinted at: it is there in the selection of details, and in the music of the verse.