Listening to Poets Talk


by Shai Afsai (January 2021)

Artists’ Group, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 1912

The problem
is that poets turn mystics
when they talk about their craft,
describing poetry as life and light,
as miles above and beyond
all other forms of artistic expression
or communication,
and as the very thing
redeeming humanity
and distinguishing it from the beasts.

And that’s when I wonder
if perhaps poet is another word for charlatan.


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Shai Afsai lives in Rhode Island. Supported by a grant awarded to Providence’s Congregation Beth Sholom, and in collaboration with Providence photographer and picture maker Alan Metnick, he is writing about contemporary Polish-Jewish relations. Read more here.

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