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MODERN YIDDISH POETRY

Khosheve fraynt, Oyf dem veb-zaytl www.YiddishPoetry.org http://www.yiddishpoetry.org, kent ir gefinen a naye opteylung. An antalogye fun der yidisher poezye fun tsvishn beyde velt-melkhomes in poyln, ibergezetst oyf english un frantsoyzish. Oyb ayer kompyuter iz ayngeshtelt tsu hern, kent ir glaykhtsaytik leyenen un hern dos geleyente durkh oysgeshulte leyener. Der program vert untergeshtitst durkh dem “Monash” universitet, Yidishe Natsionale Bibliotek bay der “Kadimah” un dem “Pnina Zylberman Fond” in Melbourne. A sakh arbet vert arayngeleygt durkh genite iberzetser un leyener iber der gantser velt. Mir dervartn oprufn un komentarn. Redaktor, Andrew Firestone

By Zachery Sholem Berger

אַ ליד וועגן אָפּזעץ (אויף דער מעלאָדיע פֿון “זי וועט קומען פֿון די בערג”) עס שאַפֿט זיך רעגן אין די וואָלקנס (אין די וואָלקנס) עס שאַפֿט זי רעגן אין די וואָלקנס (אין די וואָלקנס) עס שאַפֿט זיך רעגן אין די וואָלקנס טראָפּלעך ווערן גרויסע טראָפּנס עס שאַפֿט זיך רעגן אין די וואָלקנס אין די וואָלקנס האָגל – ברד איז אַ מכּה (איז אַ מכּה) האָגל – ברד איז אַ מכּה (איז אַ מכּה) האָגל – ברד איז אַ מכּה קען ווערן גרויס ווי עפּל טאַקע! האָגל – ברד איז אַ מכּה איז אַ מכּה שטיקלעך אײַז קענען פֿאַלן אויך געמישט מיט שניי שטיקלעך אײַז קענען פֿאַלן אויך געמישט מיט שניי שניי געמישט מיט שטיקלעך אײַז וואַרפֿן וואָלט געווען אַ גרײַז שטיקלעך אײַז קענען פֿאַלן אויך געמישט מיט שניי וועגן שנייעלעך רעדן די לערערס אין די שולן וועגן שנייעלעך רעדן די לערערס אין די שולן זיי כאַפּן אַרום וויפֿל מאָלעקולן? אַן איינס געפֿאָלגט פֿון נײַנצן נולן! (דערפֿאַר זײַנען צוויי שנייעלעך גאָרניט גלײַך!) וועגן שנייעלעך רעדן די לערערס אין די שולן פֿון דעם אַלעם ווערט מען נאַס ווערט מען נאַס פֿון דעם אַלעם ווערט מען נאַס ווערט מען נאַס לאָמיר טרינקען עפּל קוואַס און מאַכן בילדער פֿון דער גאַס פֿון דעם אַלעם ווערט מען נאַס ווערט מען נאַס

2008                                  Eyn Fish Tsvey Fish Royter Fish Bloyer Fish, One Fish Two Fish  Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss in Yiddish. New York: Yiddish House. ISBN 9780972693936.

2005                                 George der Naygeriker, Curious George by H.A. Rey in Yiddish. New York: Yiddish House. ISBN 9780972693929.

2003                                  Di Kats der Payats, The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss in Yiddish. New York: Yiddish House. ISBN 9780972693905.

Sudden Rain/Plutsemdiker Regn, poems by Gitl Schaechter-Viswanath, translations by Jeffrey Shandler and Zackary Sholem Berger. Tel Aviv: Israel Book.  ISBN 9654300508.

1997-2006                         Der Bavebter Yid, online magazine Co-founder and -editor

AWARDS 2005                                Leyb Rubinlicht Award for Modern Yiddish Literature Association of Yiddish Writers and Journalists [Israel])

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Read more at: http://sholemberger.blogspot.com/

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Chava Rosenfarb (1923-  )

Chava Rosenfarb is one of the most important Yiddish novelists and writers of the second half of the twentieth century. Her primary subject is the Holocaust; she is a survivor of the Lodz ghetto, Auschwitz, and Bergen Belsen. Chava receiving Manger prize, in Israel, 1976.

טשאַוואַ ראָסענפאַרב איז איינער פון די מערסט וויכטיק ייִדיש נאַוואַלאַסץ און רייטערז פון די צווייטע העלפט פון די ,,-1900 י”ה. איר ערשטיק טעמע איז די האָלאָקאַוסט; זי איז אַ לעבן געבליבענער פון דער לאָדז געטאָ, אַושוויץ, און בערגען בעלסען. טשאַוואַ ריסיווינג מאנגער פרייז, אין ישראל, “1976.

She was born in Lodz, Poland in 1923. When she was a child, her father encouraged her to write about her experiences and to think about being a writer. In 1939, when she was 16, the Nazis invaded Poland – and her life was changed forever.

Kitchen workers in the Lodz-ghetto.

She and her family were incarcerated, along with the rest of the Jewish population of Lodz in the Lodz ghetto. In the ghetto she wrote poems during those days of constant terror. She wrote about  the ongoing struggle to endure—writings she lost and later recreated from memory.

Chava, standing in back, giving a reading in London,
circa 1947. Sitting 3rd from right is Esther Kreitman,
sister of Isaac Bashevis Singer. In 1944 when the Lodz ghetto was liquidated, Chava and her family were transported to Auschwitz and later to Bergen Belsen, before being liberated by British forces in 1945. After spending several years homeless and stateless in Europe, she came to Canada in 1950 and settled in Montreal.

http://chavarosenfarb.com/ This website includes photographs of Rosenfarb with well-known Yiddish writers, Yiddish texts of some of Rosenfarb’s poems.

Examples of Chava Rosenfarbs poetry in Yiddish can be found here: http://chavarosenfarb.com/poetry-yiddish

A YouTube video of a Chava Rosenfarb poem nicely read in Yiddish and translated into English by Goldie Morgentaler: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rPolgwb1hc

A Yiddish rap song by German/Israeli singer Zionlight. The aim is to keep Yiddish alive amongst the younger generation. Gey nisht avek (don’t go away) is a song dedicated to the Yiddish language.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCfHnmAJRlo

Mark Glanville and Alexand Knapp release a CD by Naxos on 4 January. A Yiddish Winterreise is a sequence of songs from the Yiddish repertoire recreates the original, Schubertian journey in a Holocaust context. The singer reflects on the life and world he has just seen destroyed as he flees the Vilna ghetto. ‘Half of them are arranged by the superb pianist Alexander Knapp, an expert on Jewish music… Glanville was masterly in sustaining its technical and emotional demands’ (Opera Now).

ALTEH BUCK

Tune: I'm an Old Cowhand
I'm an alteh buck (I'm an old buck)
Foon old Kentuck (From old Kentuck)
Uhn ich triypst tsu town (And I drive to town)
Lookin' like a schmuck (Schmuck is vulgar for stupid jerk, literally, "penis")
Oy, ich triypst arum (Oh, I traipse around)
Ahf a fehrdteleh (On a little horse)
Ich hob der ganseh veldt (I regard the whole world)
In d'rehrdtelleh in hell (If not in "hell", at least dead & buried - "in the earth")
Yippee ay oh kiyay Oy, Yippee ay oh kiyay

NOTE: The word for horse, “fehrdt” and the word for hell, “d’rehrdt” (the earth), are both in the grammatical form, “affectionate-diminutive”] SOURCE:   http://www.mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=233 From Ray Sinick, riding instructor at the Fallsview Lodge and Evergreen Manor (bygone), Ellenville, NY. Comments: This is an examle of the increasing tendency to ‘americanize’ Yiddish of which we will experience more in the future when Google-loshen will spread. The author for instance uses “I’m an alteh buck” instead of “Ikh bin an alte bokh” and “Foon old Kentuck” instead of “Fun alte Kantakh”. Thas isn’t necessarily bad, since “Ikh bin an alte bokh” and “Fun alte Kantakh” are nothing but words borrowed from German – and why should words borrowed from German be better than words borrowed from English? Yiddish consist totally of words borrowed form German, Russian, Polish, Czech, Turkish, Aramaic, Hebrew, Latin, English etc. With an increasing borrowing from English – Yiddish will not become worse, but slightly different from the Yiddish spoken i Warshaw and Chelm. But any living language in the world change during its life-time – and that isn’t a peculiarity of present day Yiddish, that the language is absorbing English Words. Many other non-English languages of the worl have recently absorbed a great number of English words too (“download”, “hard-disk”, PC, “dot”, “server”, “hosting”, “wireless”, “moon-walk”, “moon–boots”,”ice cream”, “soft ice”, “jeans”, “cowboy”,”car-port”,”match” etc. etc. When we are looking BACKWARD we can’t avoid to look FORWARD too and realize what is ahead of us and what can easily be foreseen.

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