Jewish American poets

About Jewish American poets

This is a list of young contemporary and famous jewish american poets like John Hollander who explain that what most people mean by Jewish American culture is just as peculiar because he explain I am burdened by the american imaginative restraint that demands what Emerson called speaking in 'hard words'. The first hard question is: 'Well, do these Jewish American poets write Jewish American poetry?' But that question is itself misleading. Which of these poets write poems with Jewish content?' or 'Which poems reflect Jewish experience?' Such terms as these mean little to poets, and perhaps even less to serious and inquiring literary critics.
After all, can anything a Jew experiences- even apostasy - not be 'Jewish experience'? In any case, the notion of 'content' in poetry, the strangely Marxist concept of literature 'reflecting' conditions of society, is a rather fumbling notion as far as the teaching and interpretation of literature are concerned. Moreover, poetry always takes concepts such as these and reinterprets them: If something serious and complex is meant by a poem 'reflecting' world events, a true poet will reinvent that concept of reflection in each poem he or she writes, will create a new and unique form of distorting mirror. So, too, with the notion of 'content': It usually is invoked only in contrast to a notion like 'form'. Can there be Jewish form and gentile content? Or vice versa?
It is not merely that modern poets and Jews are outsiders, it is more that both carry the burden of an absolutely inexplicable sense of their own identity and history.

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