Sunday 4 February 2018


ROZE (ZELDE-REYZL) NEVADOVSKI (October 21, 1899-September 26, 1971)
            She was born in Bialystok, Russian Poland.  Aside from secular subject matter in a Bialystok commercial school, she studied Yiddish and Hebrew with private tutors.  She early on became acquainted with Russian poetry.  On her own she began stealthily to write and then went abroad to pursue her studies.  She attended the universities of Ghent and Brussels and the Free Russian Academy in Berlin under the directorship of the Russian poet Andrei Biely.  For a short she worked in the Curie Laboratory at the Sorbonne.  During WWI amid the ferment of revolutions and social unrest thereafter, she wandered from one place to another: “I am exhausted to the bone, / My heart is cut and opened. / Stones and sharp teeth / Have fallen all over my body.” (“In vogl” [Wandering])  After roaming across Europe, in 1928 she finally reached the United States, was a teacher of literature and languages in the Bialystok Youth Association, the Sholem Aleichem Folk School, and elsewhere in New York.  Her first writing years were tied up with Russian, switching to Yiddish only later.  From 1933 she published poems and essays in: Di tsukunft (The future), Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor), Oyfkum (Arise), Naylebn (New life); Di feder (The pen); Der tog (The day), Der amerikaner (The American), Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal), Kinder-zhurnal (Children’s magazine), and Byalistoker shtime (Voice of Bialystok) in New York; Kalifornyer yidishe shtime (Jewish voice of California) in Los Angeles; Shikage (Chicago) and Brikn (Bridges) in Chicago; Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal; and in the European Yiddish publications, Byalistoker shtime in Bialystok, Vokhnblat far literatur (Weekly writing for literature) in Warsaw, and elsewhere.  He edited: Khayim Shapiro’s jubilee publication, Chaim Shapiro: Fifty Years of His Life (1937); Max Sherman’s Lider (Poetry) (1934), and Teater-zhurnal (Theater journal)—all in Los Angeles.  Her books include: Azoy bin ikh, lider (1933-1936) (That’s how I am, poems, 1933-1936) (Los Angeles, 1936), 156 pp.; Lider mayne (My poems) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1974), 272 pp.  She died in New York.  As Sh. Tenenboym put it: “In addition, her poems are lyrical, purely lyrical…[and] they have a social content….  Their beauty and song surround the poetess, and she grasps sorrow with deep feeling….  A subtly sensitive feminine poetess….  You are close to the hidden nuances of pain….  At the same time, she possesses as well a sensing of the scope of the magnificent, not only the delicate and quietly lyrical.”

Sources: F. Kaplan, in Unzer lebn (Bialystok) (January 28, 1937); Sh. Tenenboym, in Idisher kuryer (Chicago) (May 7, 1939), republished in Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (August 1939); Hamshekh anthology, edited by Moyshe Shtarkman (New York, 1945), pp. 374-78; Amerike in yidishn vort (America in the Yiddish word) (New York, 1955), pp. 753-56.
Benyomen Elis

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 392.]

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