Page 67 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 6 (1947-1948)

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Compiled by L. Spiesman, it was published by the Pioneer Wo-
men’s Organization. I t evokes sorrow for the fate of the millions
of women and children, as well as pride in the unique and unequal
struggle between unarmed Jewish women and the armored might
of an enemy pledged to their extermination. The editor has
drawn his material almost exclusively from Labor Zionist circles.
I t would be worthwhile if other groups too would tell their story.
Several significant volumes of verse deserve our attention. We
would do well to begin with Kadia Molodovsky’s book of verse
Der Mailekh Dovid iz Alain Geblibn
(King David Remained
Alone). She explains the unusual title as follows: “The people
has been cut down, wounded and dead, the roads deserted, the
houses burned — King David alone remains with the crown.”
The woman poet is our people’s spokesman before the God of
Mercy: “Choose another people; we are weary of dying . . . We
have no more blood; can no longer be a sacrifice; our home is
turned into desert; the earth too small for our graves; we have
run out of lamentations; we cannot find a fitting song of sorrow
in the old books . . . ”
Jacob Glatstein, too, feels that an era in Jewish history has
come to an end and gives voice to this awareness in
(Radiant Jews). If some new beginning is fated for us, he
believes, it will come about in consequence of a virtual re-creation
of the world. With the present world we have settled our accounts:
“We received the Torah at Mount Sinai. In Lublin we gave it
back. The dead do not praise God. Together we stood when we
received the Torah. Verily we died all together in Lublin.”
Nevertheless he finds an escape from reality. He basks in the
divine light of radiant Jews throughout the ages. The divine
warmth of the legends concerning the great men of old and the
martyrs of today saves him from despair.
Nearly a decade has passed between the appearance of A.
Leyeless’ last book of poems and his latest one,
A Yid oifn Yam
(A Jew at Sea). These crucial, decisive years which changed the
face of our people have left their imprint on this poet, who has
ever been sensitive to the pulse of the times. Leyeless is now
more direct, understandable and more poetic, according to the more
popular meaning of the term. His image of the last Jew at sea ty-
ing himself to the mast and setting himself afire is readily grasped.
The poet’s celebration of the end of the war, at a table laden
with delicacies and surrounded by five empty chairs for the
two brothers and the two sisters who had perished and for joy
which has failed to come, is readily understandable to a Jew.
New chords appear in the poem
A Yiddish Leed
(A Jewish Song)
as well as in others. There is a mournful ecstasy about