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Menke: The Complete Yiddish Poems of Menke Katz Hardcover – April, 2005
While You Were Mine
Everything she loved could so easily be lost. Learn More
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Menke Katz, for example, was the only major Yiddish poet to become a major poet in English too, but I had never heard of him until a friend kindly donated this book to my shelves. His work is not contained in any major collections of Yiddish poets.
The reason I had never heard of him, it turns out, is political. Menke Katz was at the outset a part of the far left Yiddish poets' scene on the Lower East Side in the 1920s and '30s, but the far left did not appreciate his poetry, which described many things other than the workers of the world-from bums on the Bowery in New York, to the sometimes terrible emotional fallout of abortion. For this, and his many other "sins," Menke was castigated by the Yiddish American poetry mainstream for most of his life.
His first poem, Bowery, elicited howls of horror from the Yiddish journal, Frayhet, for example. "Not even the camouflage tactic of invoking the Citizens of the Bowery and its prostitutes can help the writer of this poem," wrote Frayhet editor M. Olgin after its publication.Read more ›