Passover Performance Poetry

By Jake Marmer

Published March 26, 2010.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Pesach literally means “skipping” — as in skipping the Jewish homes. But also, as in skipping a beat, breathless, syncopated, throat parched from so much yelling. That’s right, yelling. Passover is all about that. Family members who have not seen each other in much too long, with their serious opinions on serious matters. The rabbis of the hagaddah are also yelling at each other, through their abstract arguments. Sometimes it makes you want to skip … out on the whole thing altogether. Or will you skip none of it, and pedantically inhale the whole chaotic chorus along with the matzo balls? Depends which of the four sons you are, I guess. Then again, like four-faced creatures of Ezekiel’s vision we too are four-faced — each one of us is all four sons (and daughters!) in one body. With all the inner conflicts, and yes, yelling that goes along with the territory. In these two poems, “Umtza” and “R-Word,” I tried to capture the great cacophonous chorus of the tradition.

“Umtza”

“The R-Word”

Jake Marmer is a poet and perfomer, who contributes regularly to the Forward. Visit http://jakemarmer.wordpress.com/ to see more of his work.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.