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Black Bread:Poems, After the Holocaust

by Blu Greenberg [Ktav], $20

What right-thinking person isn’t a fan of Blu Greenberg’s? In this generous-hearted collection of 58 poems (they are musings and vignettes, actually, rather than poems) written over 20 years, Greenberg offers up homely examples of what she calls “The Holocaust Factor.” We all carry within us, she writes, “a Holocaust consciousness. At the most ordinary moments of our daily lives, an association with the Shoah, or with a fragment a survivor has shared, leaps autonomously into mind.” And so in these poems Greenberg buys lettuce, puts on warm socks, fails to change a son’s diaper …and The Holocaust Factor springs into action. Here is “Safety Statistics”; For all peoples/ Of this century/ The likelihood/ Of dying on a train/ Is significantly lower/ With small margin of error/ Than in a car, bus, boat, or plane/ Except for Jews.