Page 223 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 24

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WINNERS OF THE 1965 LITERARY AWARDS
OF THE JEWISH BOOK COUNCIL OF AMERICA
Kadia Molodowsky
Yudel Mark, the distinguished Jewish educator and Yiddish
writer, made the presentation of the Kovner Award for Yiddish
Poetry to Kadia Molodowsky. He said, in part:
“We have presented an award to the poetess Kadia Molodowsky
for her book
Likht fun Dornboym
(Light from the Thornbush).
She was born into a pious Jewish family in Poland. Her father
was a teacher who taught his daughter Talmud along with his
other pupils. Her first book
Kheshvendike Nekht
(Heshvan
Nights) made her a prominent Yiddish poet. Since then she has
published verse collections in Poland and in New York. She was
a teacher in Poland, where she wrote excellent children’s poetry
to be studied and recited in Yiddish schools. Her poems in
Hebrew translation are very popular in Israel and the children
there are fond of her. In recent years she has been publishing the
magazine
Svive
(Environment) in New York.
“Her award winning
Likht fun Dornboym
derives its name
from the Burning Bush seen by Moses, which burned but was not
consumed. This indestructible bush is symbolically interpreted to
mean the Torah and our people. For her the Burning Bush is
also her own soul.
“The elements of fantasy and reality are intertwined in poetry
as they are in life. The story of Kadia Molodowsky’s poetic
creativity is the subtle relationship between fantasy and reality.
In her first volume of poems and in the volume called
Djika-
Street
(one of the poorest streets in old Warsaw) there is a
clearer indication of autumnal and impoverished reality. Later,
however, reality is more and more embellished and exalted by
fantasy. The images of late autumn with its defoliation and rain
are augmented by the image of the white cherry tree in full
bloom. The gray of poverty and clouds is augmented by the
colorful feathers of a pheasant. This is especially apparent in
the poem where six year old golden haired Olka’s blue parasol
transforms the environment of oppressive poverty into a world
of magic beauty and gay games. According to the poetess happi­
ness in fantasy is not a dream but true happiness.
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