Dead Men's Praise by Jacqueline Osherow

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With Dead Men's Praise, Jacqueline Osherow gives us her fourth and most ambitious collection yet. Her hybrid inspiration ranges from Dante's terza rima, to free verse, to biblical psalms, while always keeping the voice of casual conversation. In the book's centerpiece, "Scattered Psalms," Osherow takes on the Hebrew psalms, the lyric heart of both the English and Jewish literary traditions out of which her writing comes. Combining the self-mocking inflections of Yiddish jokes with the pure lyric inspiration of biblical poetry, these poems range from Italian hill towns to Los Angeles contemporary art installations to the vanished Jewish world of the Ukraine, from imaginings of the future to recovery of the past. Her distinctive voice becomes a seemingly impossible fusion of the sublime and the down-to-earth.

About Jacqueline Osherow

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JACQUELINE OSHEROW is the author of four previous books of poems. Her work has appeared in a number of anthologies, including The Norton Anthology of Jewish-American Poetry, Best American Poetry, Best Contemporary Jewish Writing, and The Extraordinary Tide: New Poems by American Women. She is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Utah.
Published December 1, 2007 by Grove Press. 96 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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I spoke Yiddish at the Acropolis--""), the direct addresses to a mensch-like God--Osherow juxtaposes strict meters and odd facts and observations, at times suggesting Auden's ""Letter to Lord Byron"": ""Besides, I'm not sure God much cares for piety;/ my guess is--since David was his favorite--/ ...

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