Pearls of Yiddish Poetry

KTAV  2010

Kudos to the producers of this collection of Yiddish poetry and song, compiled from the Pearls of Yiddish Poetry section of Forverts, the Yiddish Jewish Daily Forward newspaper. The work of thirty-eight writers is included, both men and women, spanning a century of Yiddish poetic writing, presented side by side in English and Yiddish. This book was originally published in Israel, in Hebrew, in 1974. 

Many of these poems are deeply poignant, intimately lamenting exile and the generations lost in the Shoah. Vignettes of Yiddish life in prewar Europe and immigrant America are presented in great detail. Songs and poems cross class and gender boundaries and strike the reader as vividly, startlingly authentic, marbled with expressive joy and tragedy. With classic, bitter, biting Yiddish humor, much of this work is immediate and accessible; you can taste and smell the worlds that have been lost. 

There is well researched biographical information about each poet included with his or her work, adding to the riches of this Yiddishkeit anthology. Highly recommended, whether you are a Yiddish reader or not.

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