Monday, March 25, 2013

Passover Poems: The Haggadah and Huck Finn

Found Poems

If you're looking for something interesting to recite at this year's Seder, consider the following student-made found poems on freedom and racism, written as part of a culminating project on racism in America. Here are the students working on the project:

The first poem is an amalgamation of texts from the Haggadah and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn:

This year slaves
   Next year free men
There ain't nothing in the world so good
You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable
        We cried out to God
God heard our voice and he saw our suffering
In every generation they rise against us and seek our destruction
Nobody else could come a-hunting after me
   Out of the chains in no time
   There ain't no place for a n-----
         Baruckh atah Hashem Ga'al Yisrael
         I knowed I was alright now

The second poem is from the civil rights chapter of American history textbook, American History: A Survey by Alan Brinkley:

Loss of Innocence

he had collapsed
romantic vision snapped
the stable cords had once bound
basic principles
and existing terms

champions of the new
-- already inferior --
concept of slavery
they were the slaveowners
the fire eaters

slavery's unthreatening presence
had risen to such a point
that it was threatened
not even backed by gold or silver
certainly not by morality
only mortality

Try your hand at creating your own found poem out of just the haggadah or the haggadah and another inspirational source. 

Feel free to post your found poem in the comments section!

The Schechter Haggadah

We've been enjoying the truly remarkable The Schechter Haggadah. Read a review of it here.

Enjoy this time of freedom and redemption.
Have a happy Pesach!