The Defining Genre of OUr Culture: The Cat Video or…


One of the characteristic genres of our culture is the roadkill poem. The Old English elegists had life as a journey through bitter winter weather, the Minnesinger had their seductive nightingales and the trovatori their unwelcome dawn, and we got roadkill. There is (or it feels as though there were) at least one homage to roadkill in each edition of The Best American Poetry, and on the whole, I cannot say I’m a big fan. I do like this one, though, partly because it turns against some of the standard ways of poeticizing the deer/squirrel/opossum in question.

I don’t really have an opinion on the title.

Gerald Stern, “Behaving Like a Jew”


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