Germany by Caroline Finkelstein

Issue #66
Spring 1995

Joyce Peseroff recommends
Germany, poems by Caroline Finkelstein (Carnegie Mellon): “When a Jewish woman chooses
Germany as the title for her book of poems, she is telling you something about language and history. Caroline Finkelstein writes with radiance about an implacable world where ‘. . . the yews move, / . . . the ragged cedars flutter, and the Tigris and the Rappahannock flow.’ In her lexicon, the portrait of a dying child succored by Mama and Papa (one of several based on Roman Vishniac’s photographs of Warsaw) is ‘sentimental,’ since the girl’s fate is transport, madness, and death in a concentration camp. These poems are arrows to the heart, sharp with the knowledge of human impulse and fletched with the beauty of human language.”