The Thorough Earth
Hardback and Paperback: 52 pp.
Price: $18.95, $12.50
In this daring book of twenty-three poems, Brodsky dramatically juxtaposes seemingly disparate subjects, in two sections ("Peddler on the Road" and "The Ashkeeper's Everlasting Passion Week"). The contrast is stark and unnerving, but Brodsky manages to blend the workaday experiences and reflections of an American Jewish traveling salesman, Willy Sypher, with gruesome and poignant glimpses of the Holocaust, as seen through the eyes of shattered survivors. This volume leaves the reader feeling the weight that Jewishness imposes upon those who must endure anti-Semitism.
Louis Daniel Brodsky's Holocaust-related poems are evocative, even hallucinatory; they belong to a time that is still drowning in oceans of ashes.
— Elie Wiesel, winner of the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize and author of Night
No achievement in his poetic career exceeds Louis Daniel Brodsky's creation of Willy Sypher, a Jewish traveling salesman. Juxtaposing a series of poems about Willy's career and a series of poems reflecting on the Nazi holocaust, Brodsky projects a vision of Jewish history . . . that includes in its range the comic compulsiveness of Willy's quest for sales and the unspeakable horror of the death camps. No poet at work today has a more . . . passionate regard for the infinite worth of the experience of being alive.
— Lewis P. Simpson, author of The Fable of the Southern Writer
Émigré in the Promised Land
Warsaw looms as cold and ghetto-gaunt
Odors my soul inhales
Images of naked women and men,
And I puke blood instead of bile.
Or, without losing bowel control,
Sometimes, quite late at night,
From which waking will be no escape,
To read my interview with Charles Adès Fishman, about my writing on the Holocaust, please click here.