Page 48 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 42

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There is but a span
From there to here.
In a ray of light
On a running dewdrop,
Early morn
Revealed fu ll meaning.
I saw someone bereaved
Lie in wait
With fire and lead
For a neighbor nearby.
I heard someone
Reveling in blasphemy.
A moment later
He praised God quietly and piously.
I saw someone bound
On a burning pyre
Remain whole
In the dancing flames.
From the forbidden land
To the trodden land
There is sometimes
No distance at all.
Twixt beastly forest wails
And Isaianic prophecies,
On a hair, thin as dew,
Hangs humankind.
(“Fun dem Land dem F a rbo tenem ”)
T h e rebellion o f the
sparked an o th e r rebellion — th a t o f
o r Introspectivist-Imagist poets o f the 1920’s and 30’s.
W he re the
had taken Russian, F rench and G e rm an poets
as the ir models, the
took American poets, and especially
Walt W hitman , as theirs. T o the
it also seemed th a t the
desp ite th e ir o u ts tand ing achievements in deve lop ing
Yiddish poetry , had limited themselves to trad itiona l fo rm and
con ten t. T h e time was ripe , they felt, fo r m o re expe r im en ta tion
and m o re ou tspoken individuality th an the
in th e ir quest
fo r delicacy and re finem en t, had p e rm itted themselves.