Page 77 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 7 (1948-1949)

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RAVITCH— AMONG RECENT YIDDISH BOOKS
65
in 1938. His
Gezamlte Lider
(Collected Poems — New York,
Farlag Matones, 2 volumes) portray the effect upon the poet,
both as an individual and as a son of the Jewish people, of
the national catastrophe of World War II. Zeitlin the poet was
never an optimist, so it is quite natural that the Ecclesiastes tone
should dominate his newest poems. The last series of the poems
in the books is entitled
Midrash Ahron to Koheleth
. Zeitlin’s style
is rich and full of innovations. His rhythm is clear, his rhyme is
many-colored and scintillating. Almost each of his poems, includ-
ing the most lyrical, has a plot and action. The two volumes be-
long among the greatest contributions to Yiddish poetry.
In Shotn fun Mein Boim
(In the Shadow of My Tree — Los
Angeles, published on the occasion of the author’s seventieth
birthday) is H. Roizenblatt’s tenth book of verse. In the midst
of the tragic chorus in Yiddish world poetry, Roizenblatt has the
courage to sing with melancholy of the beauties of life, of the
charm of the glass of wine and of the blue cigar smoke at sunset.
He recalls that once upon a time there was another world and
that the present world may yet return to be what it had been
before.
In Tokh Genumen
(The Essence of I t — New York, Farlag
Matones) contains the essays written by the poet and critic
Jacob Glattstein for the Labor Zionist weekly,
Yiddisher Kemfer>
during the years 1945-1947. Not all the reviews are devoted to
books published in recent years and not all of the essays are de-
voted to Yiddish literature. Glattstein is always original in
approach and he constantly arouses the reader’s intellect and
imagination. His refreshing essays have enriched contemporary
Yiddish literature in the same manner as have the critical studies
of Baal Makhshoves at the beginning of this century.
I. L. Peretz’s writings have not as yet been issued in an aca-
demic edition. Among the ordinary editions printed up to now,
the best is to be considered the one being issued now by CYCO,
under the editorship of Samuel Niger. Five of the projected
eleven volumes have already appeared. One of the published
volumes contains for the first time all of Peretz’s poems, with an
enthusiastically written critical and biographical introduction by
the editor.
A great contribution to current Yiddish literature is the publi-
cation of the seventh volume of
Zamlbikher
(Anthology) edited
by Joseph Opatoshu and H. Leivick. Story, essay and poetry are
well represented but poetry outnumbers the other literary forms.
Two general themes dominate in the poems. Present day destruc-
tion and glory of the past. The dividing lines between different
literary schools and groups, between the old and the young writers