Page 136 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 25

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A A R O N G L A N Z - L E Y E L E S
1 8 8 9 - 1 9 6 6
ip t z in
la n z
ey e l e s
w h o
pa ssed
a w a y
on December 31, 1966, was
the staunchest pillar of the introspective movement in Yid-
dish poetry, for which the Yiddish designation was “Insichis
It originated in 1919 when Glanz-Leyeles and two younger poets,
Jacob Glatstein and N.B. Minkoff, agreed upon a common pro-
gram and upon the founding of the literary organ
In Sich
for the
propagation of their credo and for the publication of their works
and those of allied spirits.
Soon there rallied to their standards the young immigrant
poets B. Alquit, Bernard Lewis, Kalman Heisler, Reuben Ludwig,
Jacob Stodolsky and Alef Katz. Contributors to later issues of
included the poets 1.1. Siegel, Michel Licht, Eliezer Green-
berg, A. Lutzky, Shlomo Schwartz, Celia Drapkin, Esther Sumi-
acher and Anna Margolin. Shortly before it ceased publication in
1940, the first writers of a still newer group known as “Young
Vilna,” Abraham Suzkever and Leiser Wolf, made their Ameri-
can debut in its monthly issues. By then, the original founders
of the group had matured, had discarded flamboyant proclama-
tions, and were engaged in defending their non-political devo-
tion to art against the onslaughts of aggressive so-called Prole-
tarian Poets.
The American Yiddish lyric had been in a state of revolt
against traditionalism since 1907, when “Die Yunge” (The Young
Ones) set out to emancipate the Yiddish muse from servitude to
anarchist or socialist causes and to replace Utopian visions, calls
to revolution and sweatshop elegies with the reproduction of
individual moods and longings. Now a lyric group, younger than
the derided youngsters of a dozen years earlier, was demanding
In contrast to “Die Yunge,” who had emphasized art for art’s
sake and who had sought to communicate faithfully impressions
that impinged upon them from the world without, the new group
of Insichists stressed poetry as the expression of emotionalized