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The Book of Life

Alicia Suskin Ostriker

Publication Year: 2012

“A Song of Songs, which is not Solomon’s but Alicia Ostriker’s. A great age-old hymn to life, to flesh, to memory, is revised again on these pages, with gusto, with passion, with clarity, with eros, with grief. If there is God, it is the mourner’s or the mystic’s God; if there is faith, it is the faith in our future. This is gorgeous poetry, as Jewish as it is universal.” —Ilya Kaminsky

Published by: University of Pittsburgh Press

Title Page, Copyright

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contents

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pp. vi-vii

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preface

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pp. ix-x

What is it to be a Jewish poet? What is it to be a Jewish woman poet? I did not always ask these questions. My writing life has evolved from being an American poet in the wake of Walt Whitman and William Carlos Williams. I have been a disciple of Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, Lucille Clifton...

I

Becky and Benny in Far Rockaway

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p. 3-3

Old Men

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p. 4-4

Born in the USA

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p. 5-5

The Marriage Nocturne

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pp. 6-7

Hunger

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pp. 8-10

Elegy for Allen

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pp. 11-12

West Fourth Street

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p. 13-13

At the Revelation Restaurant

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p. 14-14

Grandchild

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p. 15-15

II

A Meditation in Seven Days

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pp. 19-31

Kol Nidre

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pp. 32-33

III

The Eighth and Thirteenth

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pp. 37-39

Holocaust

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pp. 40-41

Three Women

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pp. 42-44

Who Saves a Life: Poem Beginning witha Line by Fitzgerald/Hemingway

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pp. 45-48

Diaspora

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p. 49-49

Listening to Public Radio

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pp. 50-51

Poem Sixty Years After Auschwitz

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pp. 52-53

IV

psalm

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pp. 57-58

fire

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p. 59-59

judgment

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p. 60-60

during the bombing of Kosovo

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p. 61-61

the fast

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p. 62-62

the shekhinah as exile

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pp. 63-64

the shekhinah as mute

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p. 65-65

the shekhinah as amnesiac

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p. 66-66

dark smile

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p. 67-67

seasonal

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p. 68-68

psalm

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p. 69-69

psalm

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p. 70-70

psalm

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p. 71-71

V

Lamenting the Inevitable

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pp. 75-76

The Bride

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pp. 77-79

Tearing the Poem Up and Eating It

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pp. 80-82

Divrei: The Settlers

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p. 83-83

What Is Needed after Food

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pp. 84-85

VI

The Book of Life

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pp. 89-96

notes

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pp. 97-99

acknowledgments

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p. 101-101


E-ISBN-13: 9780822978350
E-ISBN-10: 0822978350
Print-ISBN-13: 9780822961819
Print-ISBN-10: 0822961814

Page Count: 112
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Pitt Poetry Series
Series Editor Byline: Ed Ochester

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