'Turn it over and over' (avot 5: 22): American jewish women's poetry on lot's wife

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Although mentioned only twice in Genesis (19:17, 26), Lot's wife has been a topic of much discussion amongst both traditional and modern commentators and exegetes. However, as opposed to the androcentric traditional midrash, the Jewish American women poets, who write midrashic-poetry, reread the biblical story with a feminine/feminist lens, making what Alicia Ostriker calls 'revisionist mythmaking.' In this article, I shall focus on seven poems written from the 1980s through to 2014. I shall endeavor to evince the way(s) in which they make use of the biblical text, dealing with themes raised in the traditional midrash or re-reading the latter. I will show how by adducing to her emotions, longings and memories and even fear of the future, the poets portray Lot's wife first and foremost as a woman.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-227
Number of pages22
JournalLiterature and Theology
Issue number2
Early online date14 Mar 2020
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.


  • Contemporary Poetry
  • Jewish American Poetry
  • Lot's Wife (biblical character)
  • Midrashic Poetry
  • Women's Poetry


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