"The Arty Semite" section of the Jewish Daily Forward features three poems by Judith Baumel. Here are a couple of paragraphs from Jake Marmer's introduction and a link to the post.
Three poems from Baumel’s collection are featured on The Arty Semite today. The first piece, “Blue Vitriol,” is dedicated to Rabbi Manny Viñas, leader of a Spanish-speaking congregation who has been involved in the rediscovery of Conversos — people of Spanish descent with Jewish ancestors who were forcefully converted to Christianity. The piece opens with a phrase reminiscent of the Torah scribe’s blessing before beginning work on a scroll.
The second poem, “The Influence of Peers,” is a light-hearted, funny piece about a child’s undesirable vocabulary, and it creates an ironic juxtaposition of the child’s tornado-like handling of words and the poet-mother’s treatment of language as fragile, all-powerful matter. The last poem hearkens back to the poet’s Bronx childhood, the lives of Jewish and Italian communities, and the personal, literary, and mystical encounters within them. Misericordia, the name of the Bronx Hospital the poem is centered around, is Latin for “loving kindness,” though the poet takes full advantage of the overtones of “misery” lurking in that name.