You can now read "Dream of My Father's Shiva, Auschwitz, 1942" in Leveler. Beside the poem, the editors commentary begins:
"It’s impossible to say for sure, but it’s unlikely a Shiva could have been conducted upon a death in Auschwitz. Not that it would dramatically change the workings of the poem, but we think this Shiva is part of the dream, the speaker’s dream of the aftermath of her father’s death in unspeakable circumstances.If this is true, the poem, as the Shiva would, serves as an opportunity to mourn this death in a way that would have been impossible as it happened, and perhaps also nearly impossible now. As dreams go, elements of horror work their way in, turning the unimaginable to the imagined, as visual and sonic elements carry the core of the poem’s imagery. The speaker hears the fanning of a windmill and the humming of air. She sees a “relentless field,” a mass grave site really, and smokestacks―perhaps the clearest symbol of death when thinking of the Holocaust[...]"
Lisa Hiton holds an MFA in Poetry from Boston University and an MEd in Arts in Education from Harvard University