ELYE VERBLOYN (ELIE VERBLUN) (July 22, 1908-November 3, 1982)
He was born in Vilna. At age seven he was left an orphan on his father’s side, and together with his mother and older brother they made their way for a year on foot from Vilna to Kovno. They sustained themselves by begging. He spent five years in Kovno in an orphanage, while at the same time studying in a Hebrew public school. At age thirteen he was fending for himself. He was a leader in the Jewish Scouts (“Vanderfoygl”) organization in 1924. In 1930 he moved to Uruguay and from there to Argentina, and in 1931 he returned to Montevideo, Uruguay, where he had a difficult life, delivering newspapers for twelve years. He went on to become the YIVO librarian in Montevideo. He began writing at age sixteen with his poem “Flamen” (Blaze), published in a hectographically produced children’s magazine in his Kovno public school. He later published his poems in: Di prese (The press), Di idishe tsaytung (The Jewish newspaper), and Der shpigl (The mirror)—in Buenos Aires; Unzer fraynt (Our friend), Folksblat (People’s newspaper), and Umophengike yidishe tribune (Independent Jewish tribune)—in Montevideo; Zayn (To be) and Tsukunft (Future), among others—in New York. His books would include: Mayne kleyne lider (My little poems) (1932), 30 pp.; Der letster mentsh (The last man), lyrical poems (published by Ikh, 1936), 35 pp.; Di shvartse toyz, balade (The black ace, ballads) (1938), 36 pp.; Di shlakht farn mentsh (The battle for man) (1944), 58 pp.; Heyliker ash un andere poemen un lider (Sacred ashes and other poems) (1945), 80 pp.; Alemens velt, 101 lider (Everyone’s world, 101 poems), published by the Jewish writers’ and journalists’ union (1957), 128 pp.; Mayses fun montevideo (Stories of Montevideo) (1959), 139 pp.; Lirisher togbukh (Lyrical diary), poems (Montevideo: Verbe, 1960), 142 pp.—all published in Montevideo; and In langn tog, lirisher togbukh 2 (On a long day, lyrical diary, vol. 2) (Tel Aviv: Verbe, 1980), 154 pp. He edited: a journal Bleter far kunst un literatur (Pages for art and literature) with the artist Refuel Mandeltsvayg in 1950; and the monthly Do (Here) with Sh. Grinberg in 1959—both in Montevideo. He published poetry in: Heymish (Familiar) in Tel Aviv; and in Yerusholaimer almanakh (Jerusalem almanac). He also used the pen name Elyohu Bokher. From 1962 he was living in Israel. He died in Tel Aviv.
Sources: Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Jewish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944), p. 353; Sh. Rozhanski, Dos yidishe gedrukte vort un teater in argentine (The published Yiddish word and theater in Argentina), vol. 1 (Buenos Aires, 1941), p. 174; Y. Glants, in Yidishe velt (Mexico City) (January 1946); Y. Botoshanski, Mame yidish (Mother Yiddish) (Buenos Aires, 1949), p. 256; Botoshanski, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (November 29, 1957); L. Ran, in 25 yor yung vilne (Twenty-five years of Young Vilna), anthology (New York, 1955); Y. Vaynshenker, Boyers un mitboyers fun yidishn yishev in urugvay (Founders and builders of the Jewish community in Uruguay) (Montevideo, 1957), p. 100; Y. Tsudiker, in Der shpigl (Buenos Aires) (September 1957); Isakson, in Di naye tsayt (Buenos Aires) (January 28, 1958); Y. L. Gruzman, in Der shpigl (March 1959), Sh. A., in Omer (Tel Aviv) (Iyar 21 [= May 29], 1959).
Yankev Kahan and Leyzer Ran
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 251.]