Poetry After Auschwitz

This poem was inspired by the work of Theodore Adorno, a German philosopher who escaped the Nazis and lived the rest of his life in Los Angeles.
He is famous for writing that after Auschwitz there could be no poetry; however this author believes that poetry, and art in general, are powerful methods of healing.


“It is an abomination,” he thinks, his nakedness pale in the California light, “to draw solace from words, or lips.”

Still my mouth moves on his skin. I am silent, hungry; I, too, have survived.

“Give to me, Teddy,” I beg him, “if you cannot receive; for it is poetry, poetry after, that will let me live.”


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