Compare and Contrast Holocaust Poetry Read all of the following Holocaust poetry



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Compare and Contrast Holocaust Poetry
Read all of the following Holocaust poetry:


  1. "Death Fugue" by Paul Celan at http://mason.gmu.edu/~lsmithg/deathfugue.html

  2. "Smoke" by Jacob Glatstein at http://biblioteka.teatrnn.pl/dlibra/Content/24359/Zev+Garber+I+keep+recalling.pdf

  3. "Chorus of the Rescued" by Nelly Sachs at http://poethead.wordpress.com/2011/01/15/a-saturday-woman-poet-nelly-sachs/

  4. "Cast Out" by Karen Gershon at http://mandelproject.us/ImagesAnthology.doc

  5. "If I Only Knew" by Nelly Sachs (not availale on the Web; see asterisk below for availability).

  6. "For Not Lost Is the Hope" by Yitshok Katsenelson, translated by Dr. Sarah Moskovitz at http://www.ushmm.org/research/center/presentations/features/details/2004-07-09/poem.php?content=job

  7. "1980" by Abraham Sutzkever mandelproject.us/ImagesAnthology.doc

  8. "The Butterfly" by Pavel Friedman http://fjmc.org/sites/default/files/documents/yc_documents/TheButterfly(Holocaust).pdf

  9. "First They Came For The Jews" by Martin Niemöller at http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007392%20


Assignment: Choose two Holocaust poems and compare and contrast them with regard to how the structure and poetic devices in each informs the meaning and theme. You may select from the suggested poetry pairings below or you may come up with one of your own.

Poetry Pairings and Guiding Questions on Reverse




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Poetry Pairings and Guiding Questions:


How?” and “Chorus of the Rescued” on the challenge of liberation and learning to live again.

What is the message conveyed by each poem? Are the themes more similar or different? How do the formal elements, poetic devices, and structure of each poem contribute to these themes and the differences between them?


How?” “The Butterfly,” and “If I Only Knew” (Choose 2) on imagery of animals

In each of these poems, human beings are directly or indirectly compared to animals. Based on those comparisons in two of the poems, what is each poem communicating about people and the nature of being human? How do the formal elements, poetic devices, and structure of each poem contribute to these themes and the differences between them?


For Not Lost Is the Hope” and “1980” on new life from old remembrances

What common imagery is used in each of these poems to represent the persistence of life even in the face of death? What common messages are delivered about what is possible in the future because of the past? How do the formal elements, poetic devices, and structure of each poem contribute to these themes and the differences between them?


Chorus of the Rescued,” “Cast Out,” “If I Only Knew,” “The Butterfly,”

First They Came for the Jews” (Choose 2) on isolation

What do these poems have to say about isolation? Are they similar messages or different ones? How so? How do the formal elements, poetic devices, and structure of each poem contribute to these themes and the differences between them?
Smoke” and “Cast Out” on disappearing or becoming a ghost

At some level, both of these poems deal with disappearing or becoming a ghost. In each poem, how does the person in question lose his/her presence in the world? How do the formal elements, poetic devices, and structure of each poem contribute to these themes and the differences between them?


Death Fugue,” “How?” and “1980” on imagery of eating and drinking

Reading these poems, one might conclude that people are nourished by human kindness, but abuse prevents us from being nourished. How do the formal elements, poetic devices, and structure of each poem contribute to these themes and the differences between them?


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