Thursday 20 June 2019


ELYE RAYZMAN (E. RAJZMAN) (July 8, 1904-January 1975)
            He was a poet, born in Kovle (Kovel), Volhynia, the son of a poor tanner.  In his youth, he worked in Trisk (Turiysk), Volhynia, as a boot-stitcher and remained in this trade.  He was in the Soviet Union during WWII.  He returned to Warsaw and worked in a Jewish agricultural cooperative.  He wrote poetry for Warsaw’s Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper), Vokhnshriftn far literatur un kunst (Weekly writing for literature and art), Yidishe shriftn (Yiddish writings), and Folks-shtime (Voice of the people), among other serials.  Four of his poems appeared in: Hubert Witt, Der Fiedler vom Getto: Jiddische Dichtung aus Polen (The fiddler of the ghetto, Yiddish poetry from Poland) (Leipzig, 1966, 1978).  Rayzman’s volumes of poetry: Felder grinen, lider (Fields of green, poems) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1950), 31 pp.; Aleyn mit zikh (Alone with oneself) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1959), 74 pp.; Ikh hob zikh oysgetroymt a zun (I dreamed of the sun) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1963), 92 pp.; Di shprakh fun dayne oygn (The language of your eyes) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1967), 190 pp.; Viderklangen (Echoes) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1974), 143 pp.  Rayzman’s later poems, in the words of Yankev Glatshteyn, had “not the least connection to his [earlier] clumsy…steps—neither in language, nor in imagery, nor in thought, nor in their expression of feelings.”  “It’s interesting,” commented Shloyme Beylis, “the smaller the world which seizes the poet’s ideas becomes, the more frequently he derives sentiments with all its feelings from the past, the human dust, and the more he looks for comparisons and metaphors for the vanity and secondary nature of the individual in the world—all the more profound is his thinking, the tenser his feelings, the richer his vision, and the greater and stronger grows the poet within him.”  He died in Shtshetshin (Szczecin), Poland.

Sources: Binem Heler, in Folks-shtime (Warsaw) (March 17, 1950); Shloyme Lastik, Mitn ponem tsum morgn (Facing the morning) (Warsaw, 1952), pp. 187-90; Arn Leyeles, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (May 8, 1960); Yankev Glatshteyn, Mit mayne fartogbikher (With my journals) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1963), pp. 405-13; Glatshteyn, Prost un poshet, literarishe eseyen (Plain and simple, literary essays) (New York, 1978), pp. 265-70; Yidishe shriftn (Warsaw) 3 (1968); Yerusholaimer almanakh (Jerusalem) 4 (1974); Yitskhok-Zelik Rayzman, in Yidishe kultur (New York) 8 (1975); Shloyme Beylis, in Morgn frayhayt (New York) (May 23, 1976); Beylis, in Folks-shtime (January 19, 1980).
Ruvn Goldberg

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