Proletpen: America's Rebel Yiddish Poets

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This unique anthology translates for the first time a little-known body of Yiddish poetry by American Yiddish proletarian writers who identified politically and poetically with the American Left from the 1920s to the early 1950s. In his introduction, Dovid Katz explains how a McCarthy-era "American Yiddish Political Correctness" wrote these leftist poets out of the canon. Amelia Glaser and David Weintraub correct this erasure, recovering the work of thirty poets. Proletpen introduces the reader to an untold ...

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Proletpen: America's Rebel Yiddish Poets

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Overview

This unique anthology translates for the first time a little-known body of Yiddish poetry by American Yiddish proletarian writers who identified politically and poetically with the American Left from the 1920s to the early 1950s. In his introduction, Dovid Katz explains how a McCarthy-era "American Yiddish Political Correctness" wrote these leftist poets out of the canon. Amelia Glaser and David Weintraub correct this erasure, recovering the work of thirty poets. Proletpen introduces the reader to an untold chapter of American's tumultuous history during the pre- and inter-war period, revealing the depth and power of Yiddish literature through the backdrop of twentieth-century world politics.

 

Winner, CHOICE Award for Outstanding Academic Titles, Current Reviews for Academic Libraries

Winner, 2006 Fenia and Yaakov Leviant Memorial Prize of the Modern Language Association

“A window into the lives of a group of socialist writers who spoke passionately about everything from racism to the plight of the worker and the grinding poverty they confronted on a daily basis.”—Jewish Book Council

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299208004
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2005
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 428
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

    Amelia Glaser, formerly a fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center who received her Ph.D in comparative literature from Stanford University, is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Advanced Judaic Studies.
    David Weintraub is Executive Director of the Dora Teitelboim Center for Yiddish Culture in Coral Gables, Florida. The Center is in the forefront of revitalizing and reenergizing the Yiddish language, helping to reveal the rich Yiddish culture, language, and stories that were once so basic to Jewish life.

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Table of Contents

Preface / David Weintraub

Translator's Acknowledgments

A Note on Orthography

Chronology

Introduction: The Days of Proletpen in American Yiddish Poetry / Dovid Katz

Urban Landscape

    New York / Alexander Pomerantz

    My New York Street Sings / Esther Shumyatsher

    from America / Beresh Vaynshteyn

    Shadows / Avrom Viktor

    from "On the Hudson" / Nokhem Vaysman

    Wolves / Y.A. Rontsh

    By the River / Martin Birnbaum

    On the Street Corner / L. Mattes

    Men / Dora Teitelboim

Being a "Greener"

    In our Eyes / Dora Teitelboim

    from "To My Shtel Years" / Yosl Grinshpan

    A Blessing Over Bread / Dovid Seltzer

    Italian Masons / Sarah Barkan

    The Miner's Family / Yosl Grinshpan

    Sacco and Vanzetti / Ber Grin

    Vanzetti's Ghost / Yosl Grinshpan

    Visiting Jesus / Martin Birnbaum

    On Roads / Ber Grin

Songs of the Shop

    My Father the Foundryman / Alexander Pomerantz

    Two Songs of a Blacksmith / Aaron Kurtz

    At the Machine / Kalman Hayzler

    The Machine /Kalman Hayzler

    Figaro / A Shtriker

    Strike / Aaron Rapoport

    The Call / Aaron Kurtz

    Chandeliers / Alexander Pomerantz

    Shir Asheydim Ansher / Yosl Cutler

    from "going Up" / Sam Liptsin

Speaking of Scottsboro

    Negro Song / Sarah Barkan

    Scottsboro / Betsalel Friedmann

    Scottsboro / Y. A. Rontsh

    Done a Good Job / Y. A. Rontsh

    Neckst / Yosl Cutler

    Grand Central by Night / Yosl Grinshpan

    Negro on the Subway / Malka Lee

    Whiteness / Zishe Vaynper

    A Negro Dies / Beresh Vaynshteyn

    Jim the Janitor Is Dead / Dora Teitelboim

Encounters with the Elements

    The Fly / Y. Nokhem

    Houds Howl at the Moon / Y. Nokhem

    Earth Dream / Esther Shumyatsher

    Breath of Spring / Sarah Fel-Yelin

    Winter / Yuri Suhl

    The Hungerdance / Menke Katz

    The Man Who Is Out of Work Talks to His Son about the Sunset / L. Miller

    Ballad of the Night / Y. A. Rontsh

    Rain / Ber Grin

    When the Moon Isn't Shining / L. Miller

    To a Butterfly / Menke Katz

United in Struggle

    Bring Me Your Woes / Sarah Barkan

    Strike of the Coal Miners / A. Prints (Ber Grin)

    In Any Case / Yosl Grinshpan

    The Old Woman / Moyshe Nadir

    My October Song / Yuri Suhl

    Vengeance / Shmuel Kreyter

    Eviction Fight / N. D. Korman

    Rosa Luxemburg / Y. A. Rontsh

    Anna Pauker / Nokhem Vaysman

    We Are the Heirs / Isaac Platner

    Not-a / Yosl Cutler

Matters of the Heart

    Kh'hob dikh lib / Yuri Suhl

    To My Beloved / R. G. Ka

    Triangle / L. Miller

    Threesome / Dora Teitelboim

    Your Arms / Dora Teitelboim

    Sonnet and Duet for Flapper and Poet / Alexander Pomerantz

    Fight and Play / Sarah Kindman

    My Heart / Moyshe Nadir

    My Bas-Sheva / Moyshe Nadir

    A Kiss / Malka Lee

    In Pencil / Moyshe Naidr

The Poet on Poetry

    The Song / L. Tur

    I Have Not Woven My Poems . . . / Sarah Barkan

    Today/ Shifre Vays

    Sergei Yesenin / Yosl Kohn

    Morris Winchevsky / A. Prints (Ber Grin)

    To Mani Leyb / Shifre Vays

    Hands / Chaim Schwartz

    The Brave Coward / Menke Katz

    Out of the Depths / Moyshe Nadir

    Dead Chrysanthemums / Ber Grin

Wars to End All Wars

    Spanish Lullaby / Aaron Kurtz

    Andalusian Landscape / Aaron Kurtz

    No Pasarán / Aaron Kurtz

    War Lullaby / Dora Teitelboim

    Greetings from My Shtetl (A Letter from Poland) / Chaim Plotkin

    My Shtetl on the Dnestr / Ber Grin

    Child, You New Man / Malka Lee

    Toye-Voye / Esther Shumyatsher

    Word / Zishe Vaynper

Matters of Life and Death

    Her Three Unborn Baby Boys / Menke Katz

    Suicide / Menke Katz

    A Third / Moyshe Nadir

    The Man Who Hanged Himself / Martin Birnbaum

    A Man Falls at Work / Ber Grin

    Selfwriting / Moyshe Nadir

    Without God's Blessing / Hershl Miller

    Kaddish / Hershl Miller

    Afterwards / Moyshe Nadir

    Gambling / Dora Teitelboim

The Poets

Bibliography

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