Tuesday, 25 October 2016


ZYAME TELESIN (ZIAME TELESSIN) (July 15, 1909[1]-1996)
            He was born in Kalinkovitsh (Kalinkavičy), Polesia, Byelorussia, into the home of a tinsmith.  In 1929 he moved to Moscow where he studied in the Yiddish faculty of Second Moscow State University.  Over the years 1931-1940, he published poems in Shtern (Star) and Oktyabr (October), among other journals, in Minsk.  He translated Aleksey Tolstoy’s Broyt (Bread [original Khleb]) (Minsk, 1940), 327 pp.; and together with the poet Rokhl Boymvol, his wife, he translated a volume of stories by Anton Chekhov, Oyderveytle dertseylungen (Selected stories) (Minsk, 1938), 185 pp.  He was co-editor, 1938-1941, of a Minsk-based children’s magazine in the Byelorussian language.  During WWII he was an officer in the Soviet army and war correspondent for Eynikeyt (Unity) in Moscow, in which he frequently published poems over the years 1945-1948.  Among his books: Af der likhtiker velt (In the illustrious world) (Moscow: Emes, 1948), 125 pp.; Noent tsum hartsn (Close to the heart) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1965), translated from Russian into Yiddish; Af mayne akhrayes, lider, balades, poemes (My responsibility, poems and ballads] (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1968), 250 pp.; Geveyn fun zikorn (Cry from memory) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1972), 253 pp.; Komets-alef-o (Jerusalem: Kultur-gezelshaft, 1980), 207 pp.  In 1957 his Russian-language poetry collection appeared in print as: Zhivye korni (Living roots) (Moscow: Sovetskii pisatel’), 189 pp.  He also published children’s poetry in Russian children’s magazines.  He work was also represented in Bafrayte brider, literarishe zamlung (Liberated brethren, literary anthology) (Minsk, 1939).  He contributed to the first issue of Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland) in Moscow (July-August 1961).  In 1971 he made aliya to Israel and settled in Jerusalem, where he continued his intensive literary activities.  In 1990 he was awarded the Manger Prize in Israel.

Sources: M. Notovitsh, in Eynikeyt (Moscow) (February 24, 1945); A. Kushnirov, in Naye prese (Paris) (July 27, 1945); Elye Shulman, in Der veker (New York) (November 1, 1955); G. Kenig, in Morgn-frayhayt (New York) (October 21, 1956); N. Mayzil, Dos yidishe shafn un der yidisher shrayber in sovetnfarband (Jewish creation and the Yiddish writer in the Soviet Union) (New York, 1959), see index; Y. Serebryani, in Folks-shtime (Warsaw) (August 20, 1960); A. Lyubomirski, in Morgn-frayhayt (September 14, 1960); Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (March 28, 1961), concerning his eulegy at the death of Patrice Lumumba; Yankev Glatshteyn, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (September 29, 1961).
Benyomen Elis

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 283; Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), pp. 165.]

[1] According to Telesin himself.  The date given in Horizontn (Horizons) (Moscow, 1965) of 1912 is incorrect.


  1. he wrote the most beautiful poem ever, sung by Chawa Alberstein Ikh Shtey unter a bokserboym

  2. ZYAME TELESIN contributed among others his works to Mit festn trot (With a firm step/pace) : literarisher zamlbukh /red. Kh. Maltinski.- Minsk : Melukhe-farlag fun Vaysrusland, 1947.- 175 pp.
    מיט פעסטנ טראט :
    ליטערארישער זאמלבוכ
    רעד. כ. מאלטינסקי