Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

Poet Rachel Wetzsteon Dies at 42

‘New Republic’ poetry editor, bard of Morningside Heights

Print Email

Sad news from the Upper West Side: talented young poet Rachel Wetzsteon was found dead, apparently a suicide. Tablet Magazine book reviewer Adam Kirsch, an expert on 20th-century poetry who moreover worked with Wetzsteon at The New Republic (where she was poetry editor), had this to say about her: “at 42, she was one of the best poets of her generation, distinguished by her natural gift for form, her tough urban romanticism, and her appealing combination of melancholy and wit.”

In particular, those (like myself) who have spent lots of time in Morningside Heights may smile, and feel not a little awe, at how much insight and beauty Wetzsteon was able to wring out of her sleepy, university-town upper Manhattan neighborhood. In “Short Ode to Morningside Heights,” Wetzsteon juxtaposes the grad-school chatter at the Hungarian Pastry Shop with the towering Cathedral of St. John the Divine across Amsterdam Avenue:

The pastry shop’s abuzz
with crazy George and filthy graffiti,
but the peacocks are strutting across the way
and the sumptuous cathedral gives
the open-air banter a reason to deepen:
build structures inside the mind, it tells
the languorous talkers, to rival the ones outside!

Rachel Wetzsteon, Poet of Keen Insight and Wit, Dies at 42 [NYT]
In Memory, and Admiration, of Rachel Wetzsteon [TNR]

Print Email

COMMENTING CHARGES
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at letters@tabletmag.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

I don’t know poetry or the Jewish faith or any of these things. I became fascinated with her poem, SAKURA PARK. It is sad that the whole world, like me, wants to reach out to someone after they are gone.

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Poet Rachel Wetzsteon Dies at 42

‘New Republic’ poetry editor, bard of Morningside Heights

More on Tablet:

Rediscovering the First Woman Rabbi

By Laura Geller — Ordained in 1935, Regina Jonas died at Auschwitz. Now, she’s being honored.