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Streets 1970


Written by Merle Molofsky

Reviewed by: Molly Wilder

“The Greek Philosopher Solon reminds us to judge no one until his or her death” (vi).

For many it can be easy to harshly judge the person sitting on the street corner asking for change. Perhaps we might believe they are taking up too much sidewalk space or too much space in general. So, we step over them without stopping.

Psychoanalyst and poet, Merle Molofsky makes us stop before we judge. In this visceral piece of poetry, she asks important questions about psychoanalysis, life, death, sex, love and violence. Her exceptionally engrossing writing style takes us onto the streets and in the presence of her characters. As if we stand face-to-face with the burdens and torments of each person we encounter, we come to realize our own connections to it all. She delves into topics that are still relevant today including topics of greed, drug addiction, heartbreak, loneliness and feelings of hopelessness and depression.

Molofsky did not waste time getting to hard stuff. She dove right in. I was taken so far out of my comfort zone that I could not help but feel an incredible closeness to her characters. In New York City, it is not hard to pay little attention to those “unloved,” as Molofsky puts it.

Who are the “unloved” and how are we any different? Have we all been loved enough?

Perhaps not.

Molofsky paints a vivid picture of the “unloved” in a world where often more kindness and respect can make all the difference. She takes the reader on a spiritual and mental journey through life and death, love and loss. Molofsky clearly portrays the raw emotions that often come with grief. She begs the question, why is it “human nature” to judge others so harshly? And how do our negative judgments affect our own mental and spiritual health? She answers these questions and more, just within the first few pages.

Molofsky is a gifted and highly intelligent storyteller who paints her stories in words so descriptive you feel as if you are analyzing paintings, looking at pictures or watching a movie. The author shows us the ways in which we are able to clear the path to a greater understanding of the world and ourselves. How only a greater perspective, a walk in someone’s shoes, can lead us to the truth behind human existence and our own path in life. Molofsky is a brilliant, insightful, and a loving psychoanalyst with a gift with words and a gifted mind. This book is not for the faint hearted but it is for those who wish to redefine their lives.



Merle Molofsky is a New York State-licensed psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City. In October 2012, Merle was awarded the 2012 Gradiva Award in Poetry by the National Psychoanalytic Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis. She is committed to furthering psychoanalytic education, and to writing and editing in the service of psychoanalytic education.




Molly Wilder is currently a Junior at New York University Steinhardt studying applied psychology with a focus on occupational therapy.