Page 182 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 47

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174
JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
The poet attributes his hypersensitivity, integrity, extreme in­
dividuality and plaintive voice to his parental home in numerous
poems which transmute depression and anomie into self­
revelation and insight.
Whoever had a home like mine,
A childhood like the one I had inside it,
Sadness and sorrow will follow him
A ll life long as it follows me.
Like me he’ll know throughout his life
How to bear an unhealed wound
And lick the warm, dripping blood
Himself
ju s t like a dog.
And, like a dog, be loyal to himself,
Look into his own eyes,
Hear his own heartbeat, his own steps,
And walk the path that leads to decline.
Like a dog
in loneliness and sadness
Bark and howl
A t the moon in the night
And by day at the face o f the sun.
(“A Heym A z a . . . ”)
Papiernikov was educated in a
heder
and in a Russian
gym­
nasium.
From the age of nine to the age of fourteen he sang
in the choir of the celebrated choral director Leo Liov together
with Cantor Gershon Sirota in Warsaw’s Great Synagogue. He
was later to compose tunes to many of his own poems which
became popular the world over. His Zionist education took place
in the Warsaw headquarters of the Left Poaley Zion organiza­
tion which he visited frequently. His positive attitude to Yiddish
was also encouraged by this Zionist group which saw Yiddish
as a major component of Jewish identity and which was later
to establish the I.L. Peretz Yiddish Publishing House in Israel.
Papiernikov began writing when he was sixteen years old and
was first published in 1918.
In 1924 Papiernikov went to Eretz Yisrael where he remained
except for an extended visit to Poland from 1929 to 1933. He
became the leading writer of the group organized around the
journal
Onheyb
(Beginning). A characteristic reaction to the jour-
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