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The Hardship Post: Poems

Jehanne Dubrow, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The Hardship Post: Poems, a poetry collection by Jehanne Dubrow, uses personal experience to meditate on the slipperiness of identity. The daughter of U.S. diplomats, Dubrow spent seven years of her childhood in Poland. As a result, Dubrow’s poetry examines the ways in which the Shoah influences American Jewish identity. The Hardship Post centers on experimentation with traditional forms. Following WWII, Polish poets such as Czesław Miłosz rejected Romantic, formal verse, believing that such poetry did not reflect the horrors of genocide. Here, Dubrow employs sonnets, villanelles, and rhymed couplets to ask whether received forms might not still have meaning “after Auschwitz.” Through a combination of narrative and lyric poems, she addresses the antisemitism of communist-era Poland, the impact of the Shoah, and the challenges of Diaspora Judaism. A scholarly introduction, “Milktongue and Poetic Witness: Notes Toward Feeling and Conscience in The Hardship Post ,” draws on essays by poets Donald Hall and Czesław Miłosz to discuss the intersection of the personal and political in Dubrow’s work. By connecting her own poetry to that of other American poets, including Alicia Ostriker, Robert Pinsky, and Marilyn Hacker, Dubrow places The Hardship Post within a Jewish literary tradition of political consciousness, displacement, and loss. ^

Subject Area

Literature, American|Jewish Studies

Recommended Citation

Dubrow, Jehanne, "The Hardship Post: Poems" (2008). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3295234.