Anat Koplowitz-Breier discusses in her “Looking Back or Re-visioning: Contemporary American Jewish Poets on ‘Lot’s Wife,’” midrashic poems relating to Lot’s wife by Jewish American women. Enabling exegesis of the text via elaboration, filling in missing details, and evoking emotions, motives, etc., midrash serves as a method for resolving crises and reaffirming continuity with the traditions of the past. Midrashic poetry is thus a particularly apt vehicle for Jewish feminists seeking to access Scripture. While some Jewish American poets follow the midrashic tradition, others employ the biblical text as a springboard for their own ideas. The eight poets discussed herein, all of whose poems on Lot’s wife were published between the 1980s and 2010s, draw on the biblical narrative in Genesis 19 as a way of dealing with contemporary issues or contextualize the story within the modern period.
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