July/Aug 2019 • Vol. XLI No. 4 PoetryJuly 1, 2019 |

What Kafka Meant

When Kafka was asked what he had in common with Jews he stretched out his arms beseechingly and said he had nothing in common with himself please keep that in mind as you count the coins he drops in your cap as he walks by while you play harmonica on the sidewalk a familiar mendicant in a public square in Prague a handmade sign proclaims you’re blind but really you can see everything and can report on it there are things that are real beyond dispute incessant though it be with words as weapons and weapons the guarantors of meaning

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David Lehman's most recent books are New and Selected Poems (Scribner, 2013) and A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs (Schocken), which won the ASCAP's Deems Taylor Award in 2010. He launched The Best American Poetry in 1988 and continues as the annual anthology's general editor.

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By David Lehman

When Kafka was asked what he had in common with Jews he stretched out his arms beseechingly and said he had nothing in common with himself please keep that in […]

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