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December 01, 2013


The Jewish American experience, I think, is embedded, like all cultures, with its music. The Jewish inflection is almost cliché but to be around the Jewish experience, secular or otherwise, is to have heard the Kaddish, to have heard the prayers for the lighting of shabbot candles, Kol Nidre, the cutting of the bread (Hamotzie.) We may not realize how embedded culturally those rhythms are in our psyche. I think that rhythm and intonation can be heard in Jewish American poetry, a music that is also translated or gets infused into emotional experience.

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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This Way Out

by T.P.Winch

Ringfinger was nervous
Pinky terrified
when they learned
that Hand might succumb
to the rule of Thumb.



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