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Poetry

Emma Lazarus

Emma Lazarus’s famous poem “The New Colossus” helped the Statue of Liberty greet millions, but still reflected her experience of the mixed welcome that minorities faced in America.

Immigrant Mary Antin packs the house at the Waldorf Astoria.

December 8, 1912

Mary Antin writes, “I was born, I have lived, and I have been made over. Is it not time to write my life’s story?”

Marge Piercy

Marge Piercy is the author of 17 novels including the New York Times Bestseller Gone To Soldiers, the national bestseller The Longings of Women, and the classic Woman on the Edge of Time; 17 volumes of poetry; and the critically acclaimed memoir Sleeping with Cats.

Blu Greenberg

Author and lecturer Blu Greenberg has published widely on contemporary issues of feminism, Orthodoxy, and the Jewish family, as well as on other subjects of scholarly interest. Amidst a myriad of public roles, she chaired the first and second International Conferences on Feminism and Orthodoxy in 1997 and 1998 and is founding president of JOFA, the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance.

Merle Feld

Merle Feld, poet and playwright, was born and raised in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, in an assimilated family. In college her curiosity about Jewish life and her desire to find a community drew Feld to Hillel, where she found a deep and enduring connection to Judaism and Jewish life.

Marcia Falk

Marcia Falk is a poet, translator, and liturgist, who has been a professor of literature and creative writing at SUNY Binghamton, the Claremont Colleges, and Hebrew Union College. She is the author of The Book of Blessings, a bilingual re-creation of Jewish prayer in poetic forms, written from a nonhierarchical, gender-inclusive perspective.

Eve Ensler

Eve Ensler is the Obie-Award-winning author of The Vagina Monologues, a play based on Ensler’s interviews with more than 200 women. With humor and grace, the piece celebrates women’s sexuality and strength.

E.M. Broner

E.M. Broner, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, is the author of ten books, including The Women's Haggadah; Weave of Women; The Telling: The Story of a Group of Jewish Women Who Journey to Spirituality through Community and Ceremony; and Mornings and Mourning: A Kaddish Journal.

Can I Ask You a Question?

Naomi Eisenberg’s spoken word poem Can I Ask You a Question? speaks for itself. Created in honor of her mother’s 25 years in the rabbinate, Naomi tackles questions of gender and equality in Judaism—and in our society at large.

An Un-Love Song

An Un-Love Song is written as a psalm to Shavuot, which is associated with one of the most beautiful, celebratory poems in history, the Song of Songs. However, it’s written in the style of a Lamentation, as a response to heartbreaking acts of aggression towards women and children in the misappropriated name of religion. The poem addresses current events against a backdrop of Biblical recounting, including the Mount Sinai experience, the sin of worshipping the golden calf, the subsequent breaking of the original Tablets, and the story of Ruth and Naomi. It is a decidedly feminist poem.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Poetry." (Viewed on September 15, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/poetry>.

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