anthologies

blood to remember:
american poets on the holocaust

CHARLES FISHMAN, EDITOR, TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY PRESS, 1991

BOOK DESCRIPTION

In this compelling work, Charles Fishman draws together an extraordinary and rich chorus of voices that represent the American response to the Holocaust. This arresting collection seems to come from the soul of a single nameless author. The book tracks the Holocaust from the terrifying pogrom known as Kristallnacht, through the horrifying trail across Europe, to the present. Together, these voices form an eloquent and muscular witness. Like so many who have lost relatives they never knew, I as an American Jew am forever touched by the Holocaust and am thankful to Charles for his heroic perseverance in assembling this collection and for the chance to be a part of it.

EXCERPT
FROM I WAKE

There can be no revenge
only relief
from a tension wound
across an era;
a tension strung
like an imperceptible copper leash
through the corner of every Jewish soul.

Who can say Kaddish for six million
without ever mentioning the dead?
Yahrzeit marks every calendar I know,
anniversaries of death outnumber the constellations,
the very planet marred
by a continent of scars,
and only if the tissue
of every conscience
is seared;
only if for a century
we rub our lids with light;
only then might we not bleed in thought.


REVIEWS

“Enter with caution. Reading Charles Fishman’s Blood to Remember can be a difficult, even wrenching, experience. The poets here face Adorno’s charge—that writing ‘poetry’ after Auschwitz is barbaric, yet these American responses to the Holocaust confirm that poetry can dispel the stupor of historical amnesia.”
Robert Franciosi

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