A Feast of Losses: Yetta Dine and Her Son, the Poet Stanley Kunitz (Hardcover)
Perhaps the most enduring poet of his generation, Stanley Kunitz once observed that "poetry is for the sake of the life." Based on his mother's recently recovered memoir, diary and letters, Judith Ferrara's A Feast of Losses offers fresh and intimate insights into both her own and her son's lives.Yetta Dine emigrated from Lithuania to New York's Lower East Side in 1890 and learned the garment trade before moving to Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1893 to marry Solomon Kunitz. Readers will have an unprecedented opportunity to hear Yetta's own voice, understand her story and explore the influence she had on Stanley Kunitz as a poet and a person. In the foreground is her complex relationship with her brilliant son. As her experiences unfold in her writing, they become touchstones to current debates about immigration and death with dignity. A central question is: What happened in Worcester, Massachusetts, to transform a hopeful, independent woman into a bereft, even tragic woman of reduced circumstances? Yetta's voice is an astonishing discovery; she lacked fame or a formal education but was a skilled and lively storyteller. Who was this woman, immortalized as the mother in "The Portrait" who "slapped me hard" when Stanley found his dead father's portrait in the attic? Yetta's original papers and the striking details of her life have emerged against all odds--a story within a story.