Page 106 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 45

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Leivick’s poetry appeals to the modern tem per because it
affirms meaning despite chaos and hope despite tragedy. In
the Days ofJob
he explored the cosmic dimension of human rela­
tionships and pondered the need for empathy with the sufferings
o f other species.18 He always knew how to evoke sparks of com­
passion and humanity in his readers. Despite his preoccupation
with pain and sorrow, his quest for the meaning of suffering was
aglow with assurance and hope. He universalized his own odyssey
and his people’s history in order to renew the prophetic vision of
brotherhood and redemption for all humanity. In the valley of
death he reaffirmed the transcendent dimension of suffering
and the sacredness of life by “weaving God’s sorrow into himself
and carrying the song of God’s words everywhere”
(Shtil Vi Du).
18 c/..S. Niger,
Yidishe ShrayberinTsvantsikstnYorhundert,
New York, 1972, p. 195.