Poetry Category

‘When God Yelled at Me’ by Ruth Knafo Setton

In: Poetry

When God Yelled at Me When God yelled at me shaking his fist from the bima up to the women’s gallery, where I leaned forward, I laughed—half-falling over the railing that marked sacred from profane, man from woman, Chagall’s floating city from our earthbound snotty kids, screaming babies, Nana Mazal weeping, girls giggling, ladies gossiping— […]

Wings, for Gaza

In: Arts and Culture, Gaza, Jewish Identity, Occupation, Poetry

A poem for National Poetry Month. This poem, Wings, for Gaza, was recorded, and first read, in January 2009 at a Poetry for Gaza benefit in Oakland, CA for the Middle East Children’s Alliance.

Robert Pinsky & Poetic Delivery

In: Arts and Culture, Poetry

Tired of hearing poems read like they’re medical reports? So am I. Former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky teams up with Poems Out Loud to bestow us with his knowledge of delivering poems out loud. National Poetry Month is almost upon us. Get at it. In case you don’t know Pinsky, let me give you a […]

(apologies to those who aren’t living in new york city – this is an event announcement) (it seems like there are many more radical purim extravaganzas going on all over the country, though, and i’m posting this announcement in part to encourage folks to think big and exciting for next year…) this year’s eighth-or-so edition […]

So I was at Cornelia St. Cafe one Sunday afternoon to listen to some Jazz. I noticed that they have various reading series: Greek, Italian, Armenian…(I’d even read once in Dean Kostos’ GREEK AMERICAN WRITERS series). So I asked Angelo, who runs the room, if they’d be interested in something Jewish. He said “Jewish? I’m […]

Your shiny white emptiness Drips rabid promises From each saccharine fang, Your glittering emerald eyes mocking The singular certainty: This darkness and I must dance and duel Til the factory of your perfect machine Cannibalises me Into the likeness of Some True Form that bears Some True Name- My true name and form, uncodified by […]

Zohar I

In: JVoices, Poetry

A poem about new beginnings for the new year. Click to read the poem in its entirety. There is always fog When the unformed forms. First, it is a seamless thing, Then it bulges and diffracts, Shooting out worlds and barriers between worlds. We do not see the flame as it is.

Grace Paley Passes On

In: Arts and Culture, Poetry, Politics, Social Justice

So sad. I don’t have words just yet for this, but Grace Paley passed yesterday. I’m so glad JFREJ honored her while she was still alive last year. May her memory forever be a blessing. Grace Paley, the celebrated writer and social activist whose acclaimed short stories explored in precise, pungent and tragicomic style the […]

Today is the anniversary of the beginning of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, which lasted until May 16, 1943. In honor of this resistance, I offer a poem by Nobel Prize Winner Czeslaw Milosz, who was a Polish resistance fighter during the war. Milosz’s poems are extraordinary. He was an incredible leftist intellectual and artist, and […]

The movers have come—boxes are packed and on their way. I’m charting my cross-country drive, eager to take in parts of the country I have yet to see. Tonight I said another round of goodbyes, still unable to really utter the words. This time, to my brother and sister (in-law) and my nephew, whom I […]