Home  »  Volume XVIII: American LATER NATIONAL LITERATURE: PART III  »  § 43. S. Blumgarten (Yehoush)

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
VOLUME XVIII. Later National Literature, Part III.

XXXI. Non-English Writings I

§ 43. S. Blumgarten (Yehoush)

S. Blumgarten (born in Russia in 1870), known by his pen name of Yehoush, is a poet of high rank, who would be a credit to a literature less obscure and local than Yiddish, perhaps even to a world literature. In this he marks a departure from the older Yiddish tradition. Finding Yiddish inadequate for his new concepts, he introduced a number of foreign words, happy in most cases, but not always adapted to the idiom. He began his literary effort in Russia, but it was in America, after ten years of business pursuits, that his talent found expression. He wrote in many styles and in all of them emphasized ideas rather than poetic modes; with the exception, perhaps, of his nature poems, where he stands supreme among Yiddish poets in his fine sense of landscape. His translation of Hiawatha would be excellent were it not for the occasional dissonance of foreign words. His Jewish themes are permeated with a romantic charm. Yehoush also made valuable contributions to the study of Yiddish. His Yiddish dictionary is a helpful volume to all who write the dialect.