As Long As We Are Not Alone: Selected Poems by Israel Emiot
A Bilingual edition in Yiddish and English, translated and with an introduction by Leah Zazulyer.
About the Author
Israel Emiot was born in Ostrov-Mazoviecka, near Warsaw, in 1909, and died in Rochester, New York, in 1978. Yiddish was his native as well as his writing language. His peripatetic life was emblematic of Jewish writers in the 20th century. After a very religious upbringing, geared toward his becoming a rabbi, and an arranged marriage, he gravitated to the distinguished, enlightened , and more secular Warsaw Literary Circle, Tlomatka 13. In 1939, he fled to Bialystok in the Soviet Russia when the Germans invaded Poland at the start of World War II. There followed a typical required work battalion in Kazakhstan, a period in Moscow, and a subsequent assignment as a journalist in Birobidjhan. The latter was followed by seven years of a ten year sentence in a Stalin era hard labor camp during a time of renewed Soviet atrocities against Jews. After his release he eventually returned to Poland for rehabilitation, and then spent his last twenty years in the USA, where the wife and two children he had lost track of during the war now lived.His poetry includes sonnets, historical monologues, triolets, and very contemporary free verse. It contains a variety of themes: of landscape, tradition, nostalgia, family, current events, love, and alienation. Emiot maintained contact with other important Yiddish writers world-wide, and participated in the far flung modernization movements in Yiddish literature.