You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share

Poetry

The Burlesque Poetess: A Jewess with "Artitude"

Jojo Lazar is a Boston-based multimedia visual and performance artist with a dizzying portfolio of projects. She puts her MFA in Poetry and love of vaudeville to work performing as “The Burlesque Poetess.” She plays the ukulele in the steam-crunk band, “Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys,” and with Meff in “The Tiny Instrument Revue” and in “WHY ARE THOSE GIRLS SO LOUD it’s ‘cos we’re jewish,” with fellow Jewish writer/performer Amy Macabre.

"What is Needed After Food," a poem by Alicia Ostriker

Twice a finalist for the National Book Award, Alicia Ostriker has published fourteen poetry collections, including The Book of Seventy, which received the 2009 National Jewish Book Award for Poetry. To further our celebration of National Poetry Month, Ostriker has allowed us to reprint a poem from her newest collection, The Book of Life: Selected Jewish Poems 1979-2011.

How do I love Marge Piercy?

How do I love Marge Piercy? Let me count the ways:

Yiddish poetry: It's not just for men!

Most people believe that Yiddish literature and poetry was written solely by men. In reality, there were hundreds of female Yiddish writers and poets, all of whom had their own distinct biographies and writing styles.

Edith Kaplan Bregman was one of these women. She was born in a Russian shtetl in 1899 to a Hasidic family, immigrating to New York when she was 13. In America, she was exposed to literature that hadn’t been available in Europe, so she became a voracious reader. Bregman went on to write poetry in her native tongue, Yiddish. Her love of language led her to meet many Yiddish literary giants, like Avrom Reyzen, a poet who became her mentor. While she wrote poems throughout her early life, her works weren’t published until 1939, when a Yiddish newspaper had a poetry contest that she entered and won. Her victory gave her the confidence to publish more of her written work. Some of the themes that recur throughout her poems are a love of Judaism and God, life in Europe, and Holocaust remembrance. In addition to writing poetry, Bregman sang and played the mandolin and piano. Bregman’s last poem was published in 1997, a few years before her death at age 99.

How To Make Matzo Brei

It has to be Sunday morning,
not just any Sunday morning
the Sunday morning of Passover

Matzoh

Matzoh

Liberation in poetry: Who Knows One

It should be easy to speak praise at a time of liberation. It is not.

Passover Poetry: Giving Miriam her song

In recent years, Miriam has become regular presence at the Passover table.  For some she is there in the form of Miriam’s cup, a ritual addition to the Passover Seder created by Jewish feminists. For others, she is invoked through Debbie Friedman’s joyous song, an occasion, at many seders, for women to sing and dance, continuing or reexperiencing the celebration of freedom, led by Miriam, upon crossing the Red Sea.   

The Burlesque Poetess reads "One taught the word diaspora before diaphanous"

One taught the word diaspora before diaphanous

Hide the crown
Of matzo pyramid, kiss bitter herbs hello
Ransom Gramps later for green bills' third eyes
Mash Charoset more, taste apple un-scarred

Careless whips, cat-tails 'gainst knees
Because He split the sea for us
Under the Red waves of tablecloth
Napkins vanish, sometimes forty years (mica in the gums)

Passover Poetry: Studying the Mundane and Holy Terrain

Living as a poet means you are acutely attuned to the voices within, you seek to listen, to discern the words that best capture your own inner truth.

Pages

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Poetry." (Viewed on July 28, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/poetry>.

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

The JWA Podcast

listen now

Sign Up for JWA eNews

 

Discover Education Programs

Join our growing community of educators.

view programs