Original Research

A panorama of portraits: Elements of empathy in the Yiddish poems of David Fram

Hazel Frankel
Literator | Vol 37, No 1 | a1262 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v37i1.1262 | © 2016 Hazel Frankel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 November 2015 | Published: 10 November 2016

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Hazel Frankel, Departments of English and Creative Writing, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

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David Fram created a rich body of poetry in his mother tongue, Yiddish. This article offers detailed readings that reflect elements of empathy in his poetic responses to people he knew in Lithuania, in those referring to the strangers he encountered in South Africa, as well as to victims of the Holocaust. In making the poems available to a wider audience through my translations and transliterations, I argue for their continued relevance as vehicles for a deeper understanding of these issues.


Yiddish; Poetry; David Fram; Empathy; Empathic Unsettlement; Lithuania; South Africa


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