Page 48 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 20

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J
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B
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A
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They deemphasized content and strained for perfection of form.
They coined resplendent, beautiful sounding neologisms and
satiated eye and ear with ever new images and rich tonal effects.
David Ignatoff (1885-1953) was the most dynamic member of
the group and Moshe Leib Halpern (1886-1932) the youngest
and most colorful. Mani Leib (1884-1953), Zisha Landau (1889-
1937), and Reuben Iceland (1884-1955) were among the earliest
adherents. Soon there were joined to this movement the new
poets I. I. Schwartz (1885-
), Moshe Nadir (1885-1943), M.
J. Haimowitz (1881-1958), B. Lapin (1889-1952), M. Bassin (1889-
), and A. M. Dillon (1883-1934). Literary cafes, centering
about New York’s East Broadway, formed congenial meeting
places where bohemianism was for some a favorite affectation.
The movement evoked excitement and controversy and drew
within its orbit new lyricists such as Menachem Boraisha (1888-
1949), B. I. Bialostotzky (1895-
), A. Nisenson (1898-
),
Ephraim Auerbach (1892-
), Naftoli Gross (1897-1956), and
Z. Weinper (1893-1958). Each of these poets developed an
original style and pioneered in new subjects, especially subject-
matter based upon the ever expanding American environment.
Out of this dynamic movement emerged the finest Yiddish singer
of twentieth century Jewish martyrdom, glory and messianic
hope: H. Leivick (1888-
).
Leivick arrived in New York in 1913 after escaping from
Siberian imprisonment. His first volume of poems was published
in 1918 and contained his perennial themes: the universal preva-
lence of pain and the expectation of purification through pain;
the silence that accompanies sorrow and the joy that inheres in
self-sacrifice; the loneliness of each creature and the need to
reconcile oneself to this loneliness; the radiance in every human
heart and the search for a key to unlock this radiance. But it was
the messianic theme above all others that dominated his lyrics
and his poetic dramas
Die Ketten fun Moshiakh
(1908),
Der
Golem
(1920), and
Die Geula-Komedie
(1932).
The hegemony of
Die Yunge
came to an end with the rise of
Expressionism after World War I. This movement was first
represented in Poland by Uri Zvi Greenberg (1894-
), a
Hebrew-Yiddish writer who later immigrated to Israel, by Peretz
Markish (1895-1952), who was liquidated in Russia during the
Stalin purge, and by Melech Ravitch (1893-
), who for a
half century roamed all continents and recorded his keen ob-
servations in many volumes of prose and verse. In the United
States this movement was represented by the
Insichisten
or
Introspectists. Their name was derived from the magazine
In
Sich,
in which the most prominent participating lyricists were
Jacob Glatstein (1896-
), A. Glanz-Leyeless (1889-
), and
N. B. Minkoff (1893-1958).