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Aaron Kramer

Aaron Kramer (December 13, 1921 in Brooklyn April 7, 1997[1]) was an American poet, essayist, college professor and a translator best known for his volume of poems titled Seven Poets in Search of an Answer (1940).

Kramer was a professor emeritus at Dowling College in Oakdale, L.I.[2] He had a wife, Katherine; two daughters, Carol Kramer of Tucson, Arizona, and Laura Kramer of Montclair, New Jersey, a sister, Regina Rothman of Los Angeles, and two grandchildren.


About Kramer

Kramer wrote his first protest poems in the mid-1930s when he was barely a teenager, through his pointed critiques of the 1983 war in Grenada and Ronald Reagan's 1985 visits to Nazi graves in Bitburg. .[1] Kramer wrote poems about the Holocaust for four decades. In the 1930s, He started writing poems about the Spanish American War and it continued through most of his life. He also had an interest on writing in and commitment to testify about African American history. .[1] His first poems about exploited labor appeared in 1934 and his last were published in 1995. Kramer s 1937 poem The Shoe-Shine Boy published when he was only fifteen years old.[1] He adopted traditional meters favoring iambic trimeters, tetrameters, and pentameter in part to install a radical politics within inherited rhythms. His earliest poems about the suppression of freedoms in the United States date from 1938 and continued writing them through the 1980s. Kramer wrote his first pamphlet in 1938 titled The Alarm Clock, it was funded by a local Communist Party chapter. .[1] Kramer also produced translations of Rilke: Visions of Christ and Der Kaiser von Atlantis , the opera composed by Viktor Ullmann in the Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1943. Kramer was one of the few American writers to produce one a series of poems about McCarthyism, from satiric "The Soul of Martin Dies" (1944) to "Called In" (1980), his poem of outrage against those compelled to testify before the House of Unamerican Activities Committee.[1] Aaron Kramer first gained national prominence with Seven Poets in Search of An Answer (1944) and The Poetry and Prose of Heinrich Heine (1948). His master piece is his 26 poems compromising the 1952 sequence Denmark Vesey", which is about plans for aborted 1822 slave revolt in Charleston, South Carolina.[1] In addition to his poetry, Kramer published a number of collections of translations, which includes several of his works form volumes of Heine, Rilke, Yiddish Poetry, and his poems about the Holocaust. His critical books include The Prophetic Tradition in American Poetry which was published in 1968 and Melville s Poetry which was published in 1972.[1] Kramer collaborated with a group of artists on The Tune of the Calliope: Poems and Drawings of New York and was editor of the 1972 anthology On Freedom s Side: American Poems of Protest .[1] He wanted to radicalize root and branch the American literary tradition, not abandon it for alternative forms. He translated and edited the work 135 Yiddish poets were published as part of A Century of Yiddish Poetry . Kramer had a variety of different jobs until obtaining a position teaching English that would later become Downing College.[1]

His Works, Translations, Original Poems, Anthologies, Scholarly Works

SchEmma Lazarus: Her Life and Work. Thesis, Brooklyn College, 1951. Special Collections PS2234 .K7

Melville's Poetry: Toward the Enlarged Heart; A

Thematic Study of Three Ignored Major Poems. Rutherford, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1972. Special Collections PS2382 .K7

Neglected Aspects of American Poetry: The Greek

Independence War and Other Studies. Oakdale, NY: Dowling College Press, 1997. Main Stacks PS3521.R29 N44 1997 Special Collections PS3521.R29 N44 1997

On Freedom's Side: An Anthology of American Poems of Protest. Macmillan, 1972. Special Collections PS593.P77 K7

The Prophetic Tradition in American Poetry, 1835-1900. Rutherford, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1968. Special Collections PS201 .K7olarly Works Original

The Burning Bush: Poems and Other Writings (1940- 1980). Ed. Thomas Yoseloff. New York: Cornwall Books, 1983. Special Collections PS3521.R29 A6 1983

Carousel Parkway and Other Poems. San Diego: A.S. Barnes, 1980. Special Collections PS3521.R29 A17 1980

Long Night's Journey Back to Light. Oakdale, NY: Dowling College, 1973. Special Collections PS615 .L6 1973

Long Night's Journey Back to Light II. Ed. Alex Kramer. Oakdale, NY: Dowling College, 1977. Special Collections PS615 .L6 1977

The Golden Trumpet. New York: International Publishers, 1949. Special Collections PS3521.R29 G6

Henry at the Grating: Poems of Nausea. New York: Folklore Center, 1968. Special Collections PS3521.R29 H4

In the Suburbs. Winterville, GA: Ali Baba Press, 1986. Special Collections PS3521.R29 I49 1986

In Wicked Times. Illus. Barbara Allen. Arlington, VA: Black Buzzard Press, 1983. Special Collections PS3521.R29 I5 1983

Indigo and Other Poems. New York: Cornwall Books, 1991. Special Collections PS3521.R29 I54 1991

Golden Land! A Travelog in Verse. Oakdale, NY: Dowling College Press, 1976. Special Collections PS3521.R29 O18 Translations

A Century of Yiddish Poetry. Ed. and trans. Aaron Kramer. New York: Cornwall Books, 1989. Special Collections PJ5191.E3 C46 1988

Kramer, Aaron. Moses: Poems and Translations. New York: O'Hare Books, 1962. Special Collections PS3521.R29 M6

The Last Lullaby: Poetry from the Holocaust. Ed. and trans. Aaron Kramer. Illus. Saul Lishinsky. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1998. Special Collections PJ5191.E3 L37 1998

Reisen, Abraham. Poems. Trans. Aaron Kramer. Privately printed, 1971. Special Collections PJ5126 .R4

Rilke, Rainer Maria. Visions of Christ: A Posthumous

Cycle of Poems. Ed. Siegfried Mandel. Trans. Aaron Kramer. Boulder, CO: University of Colorado Press, 1967. Special Collections PT2635.I65 A6 1967

Songs and Ballads: Goethe, Schiller, Heine. Trans. Aaron Kramer. New York: O'Hare Books, 1963. Special Collections PT1172 .K72 1963

Teitelboim, Dora. All My Yesterdays Were Steps: The Selected Poems of Dora Teitelboim. Ed. and trans. Aaron Kramer. Illus. Stan Kaplan. Hoboken, NJ: Dora Teitelboim Foundation, 1995. Special Collections PJ5129.T38 A24 1995

Zychlinsky, R. God Hid His Face. Trans. Barnett Zumoff, Aaron Kramer, Marek Kanter, et al. Santa Rosa, CA: Word & Quill Press, 1997. Special Collections PJ5129.Z96 G63132 1997 [3]


Aaron Kramer died April 7, 1997, at the age of 75 at his Long Island home.[4]


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