Rachel Korn

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Rachel Korn (circa 1930)

Rachel (Rokhl) Häring Korn (Yiddish: רחל קאָרן , January 1898 – 9 September 1982) was a Polish-born Canadian Yiddish language poet and author.


  • my mother’s special wish that the oven should be “really remarkable,” as if the rest of the house were only an addition to the oven, as if all her thoughts and dreams would warm themselves there.
  • Like a spoiled rich child, the meager stream of honored cream flowed out of a narrow tube, while the common thin milk, its essence taken from it, gushed out of the larger tube in a rush.

Speech (1977)[edit]

translated from Yiddish by Michael Yashinsky

  • I was born and raised on a farm, ringed with fields and forests, where even to arrive at the nearest village was a serious journey, especially for a child’s tiny feet. I had no friends. Instead of friends, I had trees, and I spoke to them.
  • what, in essence, is poetry. To me it seems that it is a magical transporter through time and space because it manages to contain the present, the past, even the future. Poetry is also the only literary medium that allows for the deformation of reality in service of artistic vision while at the same time endowing that vision with a marked purpose defined by all the attributes of reality.
  • Often the poet will take faded words, lying forgotten and cobwebbed. He shakes off their dust, collected over generations, and marries them off to new images. He conducts them to a new breyshis, a second genesis. He also sets words as witnesses to the eternal struggle between justice and injustice, between purity and impurity.
  • a great poet or artist is no coincidence in the history of a people. He is the logical consequence of historical developments, a product of ceaseless labor that has lasted generations. Centuries are spent toiling in the dark laboratory of the national subconscious in order to produce such a perfect individual who could become the people’s memory, its tongue, and—its conscience. His rise may not be attributed only to himself but rather, should be considered an answer to the nation’s concealed questioning of its own fears, of its own dreams. Only then, when the people itself is creative, when it searches and struggles, when it collects its debts from itself alone, the answer comes—in the form of a tremendous poetic talent.

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