‘The Odyssey’ by Lynn Melnick

— Hannah Cohen

He didn’t need saving

What is patriarchy but a story unending? As a young woman personally struggling with her Jewish heritage and the presence of men in her life, Lynn Melnick’s poem about lineage and how we’re “taught not to bet on the future” quite literally takes aspects of my real life and presents itself on the page. I too have “spen[t] whole days / despairing the impractical” when it comes to my father and the destruction left from his wandering. Much like Odysseus himself, “I couldn’t save him” no matter how hard I tried. Despite the attempted annihilations through the course of history, Judaism remains in its own “hypothetical failings”, failing the survivors and those who have to reckon with their personal aftermaths.

The Scores