|Charles Reznikoff, photo by Gerard Malanga|
Women guards at the women's section of the
were putting little children into trucks
to be taken away to the gas chambers
and the children were screaming and crying, "Mamma, Mamma,"
even though the guards were trying to give them
pieces of candy to quiet them.
There are ways in which I, personally, wrestle with Charles Reznikoff's method in Holocaust. However, in response to this ice skating routine's appalling and offensive trivialization of the Holocaust, Reznikoff's Holocaust seemed a most powerful answer. It is as if the poem were prophetically written just to denounce this kind of news item. Reznikoff's poetic voice is varied, and I deeply admire his work and am influenced by it. I encourage you to read his other poems, as well; here is a selection on The Poetry Foundation's website.