Goose River Publishes Holocaust Poems by Belfast Resident – Knox County VillageSoup


BELFAST/WALDOBORO — Goose River Press has published “A Penitential Prayer, Poems on the Holocaust” by Belfast resident Gerald George with a release date of Friday April 1.

From the first incursions against Jews and others to the last death camps with their gas chambers, these poems tell human stories about people plagued by perverse ironies: How a soldier whose job it is to shoot Jews could he have written such loving letters to his family? How could a guard loading trains to the death camps think so happily of the girl waiting for him? How can a boy who helps bury bodies be made to sing such a sweet song? How could a great poet be celebrated on a site where millions were burned? These poems deal with horrific questions about human beings in the organized murder of six million “despised” people.

George’s interest in the Holocaust became an obsession as he tried to understand a catastrophe in which six million people perished. His poems about it depict people who endured it, including those who let it happen. He sees his book as penitential, makes it a prayer.

He has already published two collections of poetry: “Figments” and “Imitations of Indonesia and Other Poems”. He has also published poetry in numerous periodicals and anthologies, and his verse play “Bailey’s Mistake” was performed at the 2008 Maine One-Act Play Festival in Portland. He served on the editorial board of the literary journal Off the Coast and for several years coordinated the annual Roque Bluffs Poetry Festival. He and his wife, Carol, live in Belfast.

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