Page 45 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 12

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BIALOSTOTZKY — AMERICAN YIDDISH LITERATURE
39
young, the Negro poems of H. Leivick and the theme of Negro
lynching dealt with by J . Opatoshu, M. L. Halperin and Aaron
Kurtz.
I t should be remembered, too, th a t in American Yiddish poetry
and prose there are wonderful descriptions of the American land-
scape, such as
An Arm of The Sea
by A. Raboy, the verses of
H. Roisenblat, the descriptions of the seashore and the Hudson
by J . Bovshover and Mani Leib, descriptions of American cities
by Eliezer Greenberg, Alef Katz and Anna Margolin, of Pittsburgh
smokestacks, of Chicago stockyards, of sunny Florida, of forests,
rivers, American skies and American seas. The Grand Canyon
is described by Sholom Asch, Peretz Hirschbein, B. Charney
Vladeck and, in a long poem, by Z. Weinper.
There are certainly big city motifs in general American poetry
ever since the days of Longfellow and Walt Whitman. But there
are in Yiddish literature no less important poems about the growth
of New York and of American cities generally. The New York
motif is perhaps depicted more strongly in Yiddish than in
American poetry written in English.
In American Yiddish poetry are to be found new rhythms
which did not find expression in Vilna or Warsaw, where the
rhythmical romanticism of the well-known swinging amphibrach
ruled poetry. The new rhythms, in par t irregular ones, have been
influenced by general American poetry. I t would be an important
contribution if a large anthology of American motifs in Yiddish
poetry were issued in this country in English.
INFLUENCES ON AMERICAN YIDDISH LITERATURE
The first Yiddish poets to be influenced by Anglo-Saxon litera-
ture were Morris Winchevsky in his London silhouettes, who was
influenced by Thomas Hood and William Morris, and J. Bov-
shover, who was influenced by Shelley, Walt Whitman and
Edwin Markham.
Influences from Russian poetry were brought into Yiddish by
A. Liesin, though he was a deeply nationalistic Jewish poet, and
by some of the poets of the modernist group known as
Yunge
,
such as Mani Leib, Zisha Landau, B. Lapin and J. Rolnick. Later
on one finds Russian influences in L. Feinberg and Nochum Yood,
and in N. B. MinkoflF, who, though quite Americanized and inti-
mately connected with American culture and literature, yet shows
strong traces of Russian mysticism.
The group of poets and prose writers who came immediately