Page 76 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 8 (1949-1950)

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J EW I S H BOOK A N N U A L
70
(New York, The Histadruth Ivrith of America, 1948). I t includes
his long masterpieces such as “The Dead of the Wilderness,” “The
Matmid,” “The City of Slaughter,” as well as shorter lyrics,
folksongs, and nature poems, rendered into English by eighteen
different translators. This volume represents a major contribution
to the ranks of Hebrew-English literature.
Bialik was a great lover of children and, as he advanced in life,
began to expend more and more of his talents weaving delicate
tales and legends for his younger friends. Some of his most
charming legends are based on the lives of King David and King
Solomon. These have been masterfully translated by Herbert
Danby under the title,
And I t Came to Pass
(New York, Hebrew
Publishing Co., 1938). Herbert Danby has also rendered into
English Bialik’s tour de force,
Knight of Onions and Knight of
Garlic
(New York, Hebrew Publishing Co., 1939), which Bialik
wrote in rhymed prose, a literary form that was popular among
medieval Hebrew writers.
Another collection of Bialik’s stories which merits our attention
is
Aftergrowth and Other Stories
, translated by I. M. Lask (Phil-
adelphia, The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1944). Three
of Bialik’s finest stories are presented here: the tender, autobio-
graphical title-story; “The Shamed Trumpet,” which tells of a
family whose life was ruined by Czarist bungling; and an enter-
taining tale, “The Short Friday.” Included in this volume is
also a valuable essay on the Hebrew poet laureate, himself, by
the translator.
Mention must be made here, too, of a lovely book of Bialik’s
children’s poems and jingles, translated exquisitely by Jessie
Sampter. I t is entitled
Far Over the Sea
(Cincinnati, The Union of
American Hebrew Congregations, 1939), and contains in addition
to the poetry itself, the musical settings for some of the more
popular poems. A similar volume, however one in which the
emphasis is placed upon the music, rather than the poetry as such,
but which does contain some of Bialik’s children’s poems in
English version, is
The Children s Suite
, music by Gershon Ephros,
English translations by Harry Fein (New York, Bloch, 1944).
In discussing Bialik, we should also note that his most celebrated
essay, “Halachah and Aggadah,” has been translated into English
by Leon Simon and published in London in 1944 by the Zionist
Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. Other publications
include two small volumes:
Poems from the Hebrew of Hayyim
Nahman Bialik
, edited by L. V. Snowman (London, Hasefer,
1924), and
Selected Poems by Hayyim Nahman Bialik
, translated
from the Hebrew by Maurice Samuel (New York, The New
Palestine, 1926).