Page 80 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 17 (1958-1959)

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74
J
e w i s h
B
o o k
A
n n u a l
French, Spanish and Yiddish. Bialik himself translated some of
his poetry into Yiddish and also wrote several original pieces
in this medium.
Probably the first translator to publish a major poem by Bialik
in English translation was Helena Frank, who made a rendition
from the Yiddish of his “The City of Slaughter” (under the title
“ ‘AI Schechitah,” in
Jewish Quarterly Review,
old series, X IX ,
Oct. 1906). The following year she translated for the same per­
iodical (XX , April 1907) B. Ivri’s article “H. N. Byalik and His
Poems,” containing samples of the author’s poetry in translation.
The challenge of translating Bialik was taken up in England
chiefly by L. V. Snowman, who in 1924 issued
Poems from the
Hebrew,
the first collection of his poetry in English, and in this
country by Maurice Samuel, who on the occasion of the poet’s
visit to these shores in 1926, issued the volume
Selected Poems.
Since the publication of these initial efforts in book form, many
have tried their hand at translating Bialik with varying success.
Among the most active translators are Bertha Beinkinstadt,
Harry H. Fein, Jessie Sampter, Herbert Danby, I. M. Lask and
Abraham M. Klein.
Various periodicals, such as
Jewish Forum, Menorah Journal
and
New Palestine,
consciously fostered translation from the
works of Bialik. Indeed, the printing of a new work by Bialik
was ever a hallmark of Jewish literary and cultural achievement.
A few general anthologies have incorporated his poems, and no
Jewish anthology can afford to omit his creativity. Even some
prayer books, which have not been included in our listing for
reasons of space, have made use of Bialik’s poems. Th is in itself
is dramatic demonstration of the acceptance of the message of
modern Jewry’s “national poet” by his people.
Discussion of Bialik’s work in translation will be found in the
following two Hebrew sources: Baruch Schochetman’s
Bialik
ha-Meturgam,
in
Haolam,
X X X I I I (June 28, 1945), and David
T idhar’s
Encyclopedia VHalutzei ha-Yishuv u’l’Vonav,
T e l Aviv,
IX , in the article on Bialik, pp. 3249b-3252a. Information on
Bialik in Jewish music, including several items with English
lyrics, will be found in Alfred Sendrey’s
Bibliography of Jewish
Music,
N. Y., Columbia, 1951. Useful material on Bialik for
program and study purposes is contained in Azriel Eisenberg and
Abraham Segal’s
Presenting Bialik,
a study of his life and works,
N. Y., Jewish Education Committee, 1956.
I. TH E PO E T ’S WORKS
Complete Poetic Works of Hayyim Nahman Bialik,
vol. I , ed. Israel Efros.
Illustrations by Lionel S. Reiss. N. Y., Histadruth Ivrith , 1948. 267 p.
Th e finest available edition of Bialik’s poems in translation, this book
has made use of previous collections,, of many translations scattered in
periodicals and of several previously unpublished efforts. Th e poems are
arranged chronologically by periods and a special section is given over