Jake Marmer reviews Rachel Kauffman’s Many to Remember in the online journal Tablet.
Poetry and history can seem like perfect foils. History aims toward precision and accuracy; poetry tends to favor ambiguity and subjectivity. If history’s staples are dates, borders, and names, poetry—especially contemporary poetry—transcends such details for the sake of the timeless and unnamable. But what happens when the factual history is lost, hidden, or erased, leaving only whispers and traces? It is then that poetry and history become one, entangled together in a powerful, mythic union.