Yiddish Poetry's Many Stages in Anthology
Edited by Irving Howe and Eliezer Greenberg
insist upon the right to shake off
the burdens of the folk and the
curse of history. so that they nay
sing or speak as solitaries. That
is one reason Whitman moves so
many Yiddish writers.) And in-
deed. some of the major Yiddish
poets convert this effort into the
substance of their work. Yet the
very need for reiterating their wish
for individual sensibility testifies
to the power and persistence of
the burden of collective fate. In
the end, the luxury of choice is
denied them. and almost every
poet. nationalist or aesthete, radi-
cal or believer, must turn to the
tragedy of our age."
Howe. an eminent political and
social historian and literary critic,
The classification denotes at
a professor of English at the
once the manner in which the
City University of New York. Pre-
basics in the classical Yiddish
viously he taught at Brandeis Uni-
literature have been compiled.
versity and Stanford University.
The various book sections are
Born in New York City, Howe
titled Pioneers, Die Yunge and
Their Contemporaries, Yiddish
was educated at City College and
Poets in the Soviet Union,' Mod-
Brooklyn College. Be was a Gug-
ern Yiddish Poetry in Europe, Jasny, Ephraim Auerbach, Rachel genheim Fellow in 1964-65 and re-
Modern Yiddish Poetry in Amer- II. Korn, Eliezer Greenberg, Is- ceived a Bollingen Award and a
ica and Yiddish Poets iii Israel. rael Emiot and Aaron Zeitlin arc National Institute of Arts and Let-
In every instance, the selections in the list of modern Yiddish poets ters award.
"A Treasury of Yiddish Poetry,"
point to the acknowleged fame of in America.
The Israeli Yiddish poets' list includes some of the poems of Elie-
the poets included. The Pioneers,
for example, include Abraham Rei- is composed of Isaiah Spiegel, zer Greenberg whose writings are
sen (1876-1953), Yehoash (1872- Abraham Sutzkever, Ricudah Po- well known both here and in Is-
1927), Morris Rosenfeld (1862-1922) tash. Aryeh Shambi, M. Yungman rael.
and Jacob Friedman.
and David Einhorn ,(1886- ).
Greenberg was born in Lipkan
Very notable is the list of Bessarabia, Russia, and lives in
Then there are "Die Yunge" who
translators into English. Among New York City. In 1953 he received
are so listed because, as the edi-
them are Marie Syrkin, Karl the Poetry Award of the Jewish
Shapiro, Cynthia Ozick, Joseph Book Council of America and in
Hollander, Cynthia Ozick, Joseph 1965. in Israel, he was awarded
Singer, Raphael Rudnick, Leon- the Fichman Prize for poetry.
Two distinguished scholars have
combined their skills in the prep-
aration of an unusual anthology of
Dr. Irving Howe and Eliezer
Greenberg, in "Treasury of Yid-
dish Poetry," published by
Rinehart and Winston. have col-
lected the most notable works by
eminent poets from the mid-19th
Century to the present.
The must distinguished names
are represented here, and included
are the works of young poets whose
works have drawn world vide at-
tention and who have enriched the
poetry of mankind in their Yiddish
writings, presented in this volume
in splendid English translations.
Lazer Wolf. Ilajzel Zychlinska.
Eliezer Steinberg. Dvorak Fogel,
Jacob Glatstein. Aleph Katz, Her-
ish Weinstein. Kadia Molodosky,
Meyer Stiker, Itzik Manger. A.
Glans-Leyeles. N. B. Minkoff, A.
Lutzky. Aba Stolzenberg, A. Taba-
chnik, Chaim Grade, Rosa Gutman-
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
30—Friday, December 5, 1969
Moravia Jewry Is Almost Gone
LONDON, (JTA) — The Jewish
community in Moravia is of ad-
vanced age and numbers only a
fraction cf what it did before
World War II, according to Dr.
Richard Feder, chief rabbi of
Rabbi Feder gave some sad
Knesset Has 8 Deputy
Speakers, Including Arab
JERUSALEM (Z1NS) — At the
last session of Israel's Knesset,
eight deputy speakers were
elected including one Arab. They
are: Mordecai Zar (Mapai);
Yitzhak Navon (Rafi); Mordecai
Beebe (Achdut Ha-Avoda); Shlo-
mo Rosen (Mapam); Zief a-din
Zoabi (Arab labor party); Arieh
Ben Eliezer (Herut); Zvi Zimmer-
man (Liberals); and Tova Sand-
hedra (Mizrachi-Hapoel Hamizra-
chi). The speaker is Reuven Bare-
ket, from the ranks of "Maarakh"
(the alignment of Labor parties.)
Speaking to a group of newspaper-
men, recently arrived from Egypt.
Zoabi said. "My election as
deputy speaker of the Knesset is
the best rebuttal that can be of-
fered to the hostile anti-Israel
facts and figures in an interview
published on the occasion of his
94 birthday. Ile said only 1,200
Jews remained in Moravia out of
a pre-war figure of 41,000. A third
of them are over 65 years of age
and 700 live in Brno.
Dr. Feder said the Nazis de-
ported 20,000 Moravian Jews and
only 1,850 came back after the
war. He said he thought that about
20,000 Jews left Moravia before
the war and after 1945.
In another Czechoslovakian de-
velopment, the 15th Century castle
of Budyn, near the site of the
Terezin concentration camp,
Maurice lt Irene Batchko
Money Whiz Sourasky 76
MEXICO CITY (ZINS) — Elias
Sourasky, an acknowledged finan-
cial genius, and architect of a vast
financial empire in Mexico and
other countries, turned 70. The
Mexican government has award-
ed him its highest honor the
"Agila Azteca" (Aztec Eagle)
usually reserved only for the most
important diplomats of distin-
guished achievement. Sourasky
is one of the veteran leaders of the
General Zionists in Latin America.
Group of Cocktail Dresses &
Formals at Fantastic Savings.
ard Wolf, Etta Blum, Edward
16155 W. 12 MILE RD.
Field, Nathan Halper, Harvey
2nd Floor Suite
Shapiro, Florence Victor, Lucy Rohan Court Case
leld & Southfield
S. Dawidowicz, Allen Mandel.
HOURS: 10 to 5 DAILY
baum, Stanley Moss, Lenore
Marsgall, Adrienne Rich, Caro- Now in Recess
12 to 4
lyn Kizer, Maurice Samuel,
JERUSALEM (JTA)—The court
Some girls get all there is out of
Miriam Waddington, Irving Feld- trying Denis Michael Rohan for
man, Jean Valentine and others. setting fire to the Al Aksa Mosque life in one summer.
Of major importance is the 66- in Jerusalem — Islam's third holi-
page introduction in which the edi- est shrine — last Aug. 21 recessed
tors give a history of Yiddish poe- Nov. 26 and will reconvene to an-
tic literature, describe the various nounce its decision. He faces 44
eras, the developments between years in prison. Since there is no
wars, the emergence of a poetic jury procedure in Israel, the court
outburst of protest during the will determine factual and judicial
Holocaust, the post-Holocaust liter- findings.
Rohan's attorney, Yitzhak
Added interest must be attached
Tunik, said in his summation
to the editors' explanation of the that his client is not guilty un-
B.S. — Shelly Moss, B.S.
skill in translating from the Yid-
der Israeli law for he had acted
• Ages 3 through 5 • State Licensed • Transportation
out an "irresistible impulse"
In their introductory essay to ' caused by mental illness.
their anthology, Howe and Green-
Tunik recommended that the 28-
berg explain the history of the
4230 Middlebelt Rd.
West Bloomfield Township
former sheepherder, be
Yiddish language and poetry. year-old
confined to a mental institution.1
While noting its relationship to
The lawyer noted that all the medi-
world literature, they stress its
uniqueness, saying that Yiddish cal evidence given at the trial
poets, even as they receive and agreed that Rohan suffered from
seek the impress of surrounding paranoid schizophrenia and had
cultures, cannot break past the committed his crime under com-
visible and invisible boundaries ' pulsion of that illness. He cited
judgments handed down by the
Israel Supreme Court as prece-
According to the editors, Yiddish dents for waiving punishment.
tors and the compilers state in
"The beginnings of a distinctively
modern Yiddish poetry can be
dated with precision. In 1907 a
group of immigrants, new to Amer-
ica and feeling their isolation very
strongly, started to publish a small
periodical called Yugend (Youth).
Some of these young men had be-
gun to write while still in Europe. !
but none had yet developed a dis-
tinctive style or literary person-
ality. They had, of course, been
influenced by earlier Yiddish writ-
ing, especially by the lyric verse
of Reisen: but what soon made
them a revolutionary force within
Yiddish literature was that they
refused the burdens of political
commitment and denied the obli-
gation to speak in behalf of na-
tional ideals or as the voice of col-
lective sentiments. Never to be at
home with either America or the
English language, these ambitious
young men nonetheless turned to
world literature and, most of all.
to the ideas of aesthetic autonomy
and symbolist refinement then
sweeping through it .
"Die Yunge" include Mani Leib
(1883-1953), Zishe Landau (1889-
1937), II. Leivick (1888-1962), Reu-
ben Iceland (1884-1955), Moishe
Leib llalpern (1886 - 1932), I. J.
Schwartz (1885- ), J. I. Segal
(1896 - 1954), Rashelle Veprinski
(1895- ), Anna Margolin (1887-
19.52), Joseph Kolnick (1879-1953
and Celia Dropkin (1888-1956).
been put at the disposal of the
Jewish State Museum of Prague..
The museum will display part of
its exhibits at the castle, accord-
ing to an information bulletin
published b y the Council of Jewish
Communities of Bohemia and-
poetry collapses "the distinctions
of history," thereby bridging "the
gat) between eternity and time."
"The prophet Elijah steps into
the pages of Yiddish verse with
the assurance he must have felt
in crossing the plains of Palestine:
he jostles greenhorns on the Low-
er East Side, Yemenites in Israel,
rabbinical students disputing in
Vilna. The central problem of Jew-
ish survival is a defiance of his-
tory: the costs are beyond meas-
ure. And what cannot be carved
out in the actuality of space and
time, such as an assured nation or
the fellowship of the helpless, is
carved out i n the images and
rhythms of poetry. As against the
crumbling of history, poetry is de-
clared an unsleeping witness . . .
"There is a constant straining
among Yiddish poets, as among
Of interest is the list of Soviet Yiddish prose writers, to break
Union Yiddish writers—David past traditional limitations of sub-
Holstein, Peretz Markish, Sam- ject matter. Individual poets rebel
uel Halkin, Itzik Fetter, Izzi against the domination of the da-
Charik, Leib Kvitko, Jacob Stern- tional-social theme—indeed that is
the main significance of the vari-
The European modern Yiddish ous groups that form, dissolve, and
poets' list is composed of Israel reform. They seek desperately to
Stern, Nahum Bomze, Melech assert their own voices, their own
Rawitch, M. Kulbak, Chaim Grade, temperaments and moods; they
Tunik's contention that Rohan
could not be held responsible for
his act contradicted a statement
last week by the prosecuting attor
ney, Meir Shamgar, that the de-
fendant despite his illness, knew
perfectly well what he was doing
when he set fire to the shrine and
knew that he was violating Israeli
law. Legal observers said that if
the court accepts the defense
counsel's argument, it was possible
that Rohan would not be confined
to a mental hospital here but would
be deported to his native Australia.
NEW YORK—The role of camp-
ing in preparing Jews of all ages
for participation in the Jewish and
general community is the keynote
of the second national conference
on Jewish camping, to be held
at Gorssinger's Hotel, Jan. 4-7.
Dr. Shlomo Bardin, executive di-
rector of Brandeis Institute, will be
the principal speaker at the con-
ference, which is being co-sponsor-
ed by the National Jewish Welfare
Board, American Association for
Jewish Education and the full time
executives of Jewish communal
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