Page 123 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 8 (1949-1950)

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117
SUMMARY
appeared in many lands and in many tongues. For purposes of
clarity, the author lists the titles under the following heads:
periodicals; general — books dealing with more than one country;
literature about Western Europe; Lithuania, Latvia, and Russia;
Poland; concentration camps; and impressions and observations
of writers and artists who have visited the depleted Jewish com-
munities in Europe after the years of destruction.
In a brief essay,
From Darkness to Light
, written on the occasion
of H. Leivick’s 60th birthday, Sh. Niger traces the evolution of
Leivick during his 40 years of creativity. Quoting from the poems
written by Leivick during various phases of his development,
Sh. Niger makes the point that Leivick has followed a zig-zag
path, and the duality of his nature — his inner conflict between
denial and affirmation of life — is reflected in his poetry. How-
ever, on the whole, his trend has been upward — toward the light.
His anger and protest against life are constantly giving way to
compassion and serenity.
In an essay,
A. Leyeless
Father of Modern Yiddish Poetry
,
L. Feinberg pays tribute to the poet on the occasion of the latter’s
60th birthday. Mr. Feinberg maintains that because Leyeless had
submitted to the discipline of classical form in his poetry and had
attained a mastery of this style, he was able to break away from
its limitations, become a master of the freer modern form, and
eventually exert profound influence over the Yiddish poets of the
past two decades. Like our entire generation, Leyeless started
out with high hopes for mankind only to be disillusioned by the
brutality and cruelty of our times. But, dear to his heart have
remained America and the Yiddish language. A resurgence of
his faith is seen, too, in his most recent book,
A Jew at Sea
, which
won for Mm the Louis LaMed prize. I t deals with the annihilation
of Jewry^by the Nazis but, despite its tragic theme, it ends on a
note of hope.
In his bibliography of Yiddish literature published in North
and South America from May, 1948 to May, 1949, M. Zborowski
groups the oast year’s output of Yiddish books in the following
categories:
I. Belles lettres, poetry and drama
II. Political and social problems, essays, schools and education,
juvenile and youth literature, text books
III. Science and scientific material, documents and history,
memoirs and biographies, religious matters, history of
literature and literary criticism, art, music.