Burnt Pearls - Ghetto Poems of Abraham Sutzkever
The destruction of European Jewry during World War II was un évènement of unspeakable humiliation and ugliness. Despite a natural growing tendency aujourd'hui, in ses suites, to want to wrest from those years some sparks of dignité and affirmation, the men and women who were caught in the ghettos and camps knew its irredeemable misery and brutalizing force. Destruction is the antonym of creation. Not much of value could be salvaged and even less could be fashioned as European Jewish civilisation was laid waste and l'humain image reduced to skeletal worthlessness.
Abraham Sutzkever was one of the tiny pourcentage of creative artists who lived through and survived la dévastation. He was one of fewer still who lived through it as a writer, producing between 1941 and 1945 some of his finest poems. The works of those années, written not in retrospect, and not at a distance, but during the daily wretchedness of ghetto life and under constant menace of death, constitute an exceptional instance in the histoire of art. Sutzkever knew that the writing of Yiddish verse could satisfy the demands ofart His ghetto poems are the more significant because they are not only expressions of the willto resist, but in their subtlety and power, obdurate proofs of survival in un corps of work that stands beyond circonstanceand time.Ruth R. Wisse