What are, in your view (O my readers!) the 100...OK, the 80...OK, the 50...OK, the 10 poems that every American Jew should know? Or, if you prefer, forget the "the." What are 10 poems you wish every Jew in America would read and / or study? And, if you don't mind my asking, why these?
Don't worry about whether they'd be appropriate for kids, teens, or alter rockers like me. This is a wish list. (Maybe a book? Who knows?)
Send me your suggestions, and I'll compile and post them here!
By way of inspiration, this: the first section of one of my favorite poems about Jewish education, but the always invigorating Albert Goldbarth:
The Children of
And Moses. Moses in the bulrushes, Moses
blahblahblah. The doors closed
and the dark, fake-woodgrain paneling casketed us
away from the world for an hour and 45 minutes every afternoon
in Rabbi Lehrfield’s neighborhood
the pious and the derelict chafed equally. The vehicle
of Rabbi Lehrfield’s narrative drive was Obedience,
all the wonder in those stories was run down methodically
and left behind like so many roadkills. Methuselah
something. Somethingsomething Ezekiel. And Pharaoh
set the infant Moses in front of a crown and a plate of embers,
testing if this was the child it was prophesied
would steal his reign. And Moses
did reach for the crown. But the Lord set an angel to guard him,
who now did guide that hand to lift an ember, and so did Moses
thereby burn his tongue and lo would stammer all his life long.
Did I care? His speech limped, but he lived.
Did I listen? Every night I’d read another chapter
in those actionful schlock-epic books by Edgar Rice Burroughs,
the ones where Mars (Barsoom, the natives call it) is
adventured across by stalwart Terran John Carter, Jeddak
(Warrior-King) and husband of the gauzey-saronged and
dusk-eyed Dejah Thoris, Princess of all those red-duned climes.
It made more sense to me
than God is a great bush of fire. All the while
Moses stuttered in front of the Living Flame, I
silently practiced Martian. It was Rabbi Lehrfield’s