Tuesday 8 August 2017


ANNA MARGOLIN (January 21, 1887-June 29, 1952)
            The pen name of Roze Lebensboym, she was born in Brisk (Brest), Lithuania.  Her father in his youthful years gained notoriety as a child prodigy; he was a Hassid and later became a follower of the Jewish Enlightenment and a Zionist, beloved in Zionist circles first in Brest and later in Odessa and Warsaw.  Anna studied in an Odessa high school.  In 1906 she came to the United States for the first time.  In New York, she was close to circles of Jewish intellectuals who gathered around Dr. Chaim Zhitlovsky.  She became his secretary and began to contribute to the Yiddish press as a professional journalist.  She worked as secretary for the Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor) and published stories there under the pseudonym “Khave Gros.”  She lived in London where she befriended Pyotr Kropotkin, two months in Paris, and in Warsaw (1910-1911).  She later married the writer Moyshe Stavski and with him made her way to the land of Israel, before separating from him, returning to Warsaw, and from there in 1914 back to the United States.  There she remained.  When Der tog (The day) began publishing in New York, she became a contributor to the newspaper, running a weekly review “In der froyen-velt” (In the world of women), under her own name, and she wrote about women’s matters also using the name “Klare Levin.”  She proved to be a journalist with an innovative style and luster.  In 1919 she married the poet Ruvn Ayzland (Reuben Eisland).  Until the fall of 1920 she was known by her original name (Roze Lebensboym), but two years later she began writing poetry under the name Anna Margolin and placed such work in: Naye velt (New world), Fraye arbeter-shtime, Nay-yidish (New Yiddish), In zikh (Introspective), Tsukunft (Future), Dos naye leben (The new life), and Yidish (Yiddish)—in New York; and Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves) in Warsaw; among other serials.  In book form: Dos idishe lid in amerike, antologye (The Yiddish poem in America, anthology) (New York, 1923), 32 pp.; and Lider (Poetry) (New York, 1929), 143 pp.  The latter volume received the warmest of responses in writers’ circles.  Dvore Fogel translated a series of her poems into Polish.  As Arn Tsaytlin wrote: “For so very long there has not floated to me—through the veil of words—such moribund-human, flickering, blankly staring, painful eyes….  Such palms, heretical-religious, have not long been occupied as here in the neglected nonchalant, weary, half spoken to itself, Verlaine-style poems.  A heart stands amazed and recognizes.  Through the pages travels a person’s fate veiled, through dusk, in confession.”  “Here, what was once regular,” noted Y. Y. Sigal, “the tradition of a generation’s life, becomes in Anna Margolin the scenery of artistry and poetry.  Jewish Brest where two or three cultures met in a traditional-secular Jewish culture and forsook in the disposition of the highly perceptive, young, youthful Anna Margolin all signs of exotic design.”

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Shmuel Niger, in Tsukunft (New York) (November 1928); Ezra Korman, Yidishe dikhterins (Jewish women poets) (Chicago, 1928), pp. 212-18, 348; A. Tabatshnik, in Der veker (New York) (April 29, 1929); Arn Tsaytlin, in Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (June 14, 1929); Ruvn Ayzland, in Literarishe bleter (June 28, 1929); Ayzland, Fun undzer friling (From our spring) (New York: Inzl, 1954), pp. 72-129; M. Basin, Amerikaner yidishe poezye (American Yiddish poetry) (New York, 1940), pp. 253-66; Moyshe Shtarkman, Hemshekh-antologye (Hemshekh anthology) (New York) (1945); Mortkhe Yofe, in Hadoar (New York) (May 23, 1947); Yofe, in Letste nayes (Tel Aviv) (December 16, 1950); Y. Botoshanski, in Davke (Buenos Aires) 11-12 (1952); Y. Y. Sigal, in Tsukunft (September 1952); “Brisk,” in Entsiklopediya shel galuyot (Encyclopedia of the Diaspora) (Tel Aviv, 1955), pp. 289-92; Shimshon Meltzer, Al naharot (To the rivers) (Jerusalem: Mosad Bialik, 1955), “biography,” p. 435; N. Mayzil, Amerike in yidishn vort (America in Yiddish) (New York, 1955), see index; Mayzil, Tsurikblikn un perspektivn (Retrospectives and perspectives) (Tel Aviv, 1962), see index; B. Ts. Goldberg, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (August 26, 1956); S. J. Imber, Modern Yiddish Poetry: An Anthology (New York, 1927), pp. 202-8; Joseph Leftwich, The Golden Peacock (London, 1939).
Mortkhe Yofe

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