Image by Layle Silbert

The Jew and the Rooster Are One

Gerald Stern


The Jew and the Rooster Are One

Gerald Stern


Poem introduction

This poem 'The Jew and the Rooster Are One', is a poem about Chaim Soutine, normally he's referred to as a Russian, but he was actually 'Yellow Russian', and he was born in a little shtetl - a little Jewish village - near Minsk I suppose. He found his way eventually to Paris. And he like to paint bloodied dead animals, like Francis bacon, the English painter. He went in hiding when the Germans conquered France, he had a bad stomach, and ironically he died on a table during a kind of secret operation, like one of his own animals, blood pouring out, being butchered. So the poem is about butchery in all of its manifestations.

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