The irony of Pesach lies in the juxtaposition of the formative freedom narrative with the fraught mythic lore that goes along with its celebration. Today on The Arty Semite we’re featuring two poems by Talia Lavin that address this very juxtaposition through the lens of the contemporary Israel.
The first poem tackles the subject head-on: “we’ll sing the story of a book,/ a river of blood.” The second does not mention the holiday, but references the time of year that Pesach falls out on. This spring has less to do with symbols of rejuvenation and rebirth than with the sentiment of T.S. Eliot’s line, “April is the cruelest month.” In this piece, Lavin rethinks another formative myth and imbues it with gritty reality.