Jewish poet Emanuel Litvinoff was horrified that Eliot's anti-Semitic sentiments persisted after the Holocaust Title by Francis Phillips posted Monday, 3 Oct 2011
The truth about Christmas we all celebrate the birth the lord Jesus Christ. Preach and read the gospel and and protect the Jews against their enemies because of this one man who died before Rome to save us all from the empire. When I became scribe I notice hate toward Jews by men of the clothe and non believers. The thirst for power. Without Jesus I would still rule says the inner voice of greed and bloodshed. - Isabel Cutter I live you with a poem between brothers.
Emanuel Litvinoff — “To T.S. Eliot”
Eminence becomes you. Now when the rock is struck your young sardonic voice which broke on beauty floats amid incense and speaks oracles as though a god utters from Russell Square and condescends, high in the solemn cathedral of the air, his holy octaves to a million radios.
I am not one accepted in your parish. Bleistein is my relative and I share the protozoic slime of Shylock, a page in Sturmer, and, underneath the cities, a billet somewhat lower than the rats. Blood in the sewers. Pieces of our flesh float with the ordure on the Vistula. You had a sermon but it was not this.
It would seem, then, yours is a voice remote, singing another river and the gilded wreck of princes only for Time’s ruin. It is hard to kneel when knees are stiff.
But London Semite Russian Pale, you will say Heaven is not in our voices. The accent, I confess, is merely human, speaking of passion with a small letter and, crying widow, mourning not the Church but a woman staring the sexless sea for no ship’s return, and no fruit singing in the orchards.
Yet walking with Cohen when the sun exploded and darkness choked our nostrils, and the smoke drifting over Treblinka reeked of the smouldering ashes of children, I thought what an angry poem you would have made of it, given the pity.
But your eye is a telescope scanning the circuit of stars for Good-Good and Evil Absolute, and, at luncheon, turns fastidiously from fleshy noses to contemplation of the knife twisting among the entrails of spaghetti.
So shall I say it is not eminence chills but the snigger from behind the covers of history, the sly words and the cold heart and footprints made with blood upon a continent? Let your words tread lightly on this earth of Europe lest my people’s bones protest. —Emanuel Litvinoff, 1973 (written c. 1950)