Dear Friends: We needed to learn the struggle of Quaker Alice Herz, who died in 1965. Without warning, we are plunged into her story by the poem “Ten Days,” found in the Jan/Feb 2019 issue of Western Friend.
Harsh was the burden of the holocaust upon her, harsh her inability to stop the juggernaut of wars. So acutely did it weigh on her, she burned herself alive. Carlos Valentin does not intend to hold her up as a model; but by his harsh poem, he brings her pain and sorrow alive.
The writer and critic Czeslaw Milosz, himself a refugee from World War II, once remarked that thousands of poems were written about the war by survivors, but in his estimation, very few very good ones. Valentin has achieved something difficult.
– Trudy Myrrh Reagan, Palo Alto Meeting (PYM)