Page 180 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 47

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by the pioneers [planning to go on aliyah] and where it affected
Jewish youth in general.”3
Papiernikov’s contribution to Yiddish poetry cannot be lim­
ited to his Eretz Yisrael poems collected in the four volumes:
Fun Tsveytn Breyshis
(From the Second Beginning), Tel Aviv,
Di Zun Hinter M ir
(The Sun Behind Me), Tel Aviv, 1961,
Mayn Antologye
(My Anthology), Tel Aviv, 1978, and
(Renewal), Tel Aviv, 1985. His second published volume con­
sisted of poems of social protest and revolution (
Royt a f Shvarts
[Red on Black], Warsaw, 1929) and the call for freedom, justice
and equality has never abated in his work. His poems about
his native Poland (in
Geklibene Lider
[Selected Poems], New York,
1947) and on the Holocaust
(Iber Khurves
[Over Ruins], Tel Aviv,
1967) are significant achievements. He has also written a great
deal of love poetry (
Mayn Shir Hashirim
[My Song of Songs],
Tel Aviv, 1966) and nature poetry
(Di Grine Rase
[The Green
Race], Tel Aviv, 1983), and has composed a large number of
purely lyrical poems and poems about the creative process
(Frukht fun Vint
[Fruits of the Wind], Johannesburg, 1952;
Likht fun Fargang
[As the Light Declines], Tel Aviv, 1969 and
In a Nay Likht
[In a New Light], Tel Aviv, 1987). Papiernikov’s
generous output has been matched by the originality and quality
of his work. Even in a literature as rich in talent as Yiddish
literature, Papiernikov stands out as a major talent. Moreover,
he must be considered among the major poets of Israel where
he certainly merits a place alongside such poets as Alterman,
Shlonsky and Greenberg, despite the fact that he wrote in Yid­
dish rather than in Hebrew.
Joseph Papiernikov was born into a poverty stricken family
in Warsaw on 22 June 1899. His father supported his wife and
six children out of the earnings of his small butcher shop but
sustained himself morally and emotionally through his devoted
efforts as an active Zionist organizer and fundraiser.
For over thirty years father
Dreamed into his white beard
A dream about the land of his ancestors.
1 7 2
3. Ibid,