Page 117 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 54

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Abuse ofthe Holocaust
sensitive reduction of the Holocaust to a light, glib metaphor.
There are instances where glibness is not the sin, in which re­
course to the Holocaust as an appropriate comparison rises out of
searing personal sorrow or rending anguish. The torment which
tore at the psyche of Sylvia Plath and drove her to attempt suicide
“one year in every ten” before her tragically successful last attempt,
found its voice in her poem “Lady Lazarus”:
A sort of walking miracle, my skin
Bright as a Nazi lampshade,
My right foot
A paperweight,
My face a featureless, fine
Jew linen
The poems end with evocation of the crematoria:
So, so Herr Doktor,
So, Herr Enemy . . .
Ash, ash-
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there
A cake o f soap,
A wedding ring,
A gold filling.
Herr God, Herr Lucifer,
Out o f the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air. (Ariel, pp. 6, 9)