Contributors: Author

Avrom Lyesin

Avrom Lyesin (Avrohom Lyesin, Abraham Liesin; 1872-1938) began his career in Minsk, where he published socialist-revolutionary poetry. He immigrated to the United States in 1897. There his work appeared in the Forverts, a socialist Yiddish newspaper read by hundreds of thousands of Jews across America. His early work is classified among the earliest modern Yiddish poets, known as the "sweatshop poets." His later approach to poetry was as part of the new literary movement called Di yunge (The Young Ones), which he joined in 1907. Di yunge (who took their name from their short-lived journal, Di Yugnt [Youth]) sought to find beauty in the world, attempting to distance themselves from the strident, politically motivated works of a previous generation. (Despite this aesthetic, many in Di yunge, including Lyesin, continued their political activities on behalf of socialism.) Lyesin was later editor of the Yiddish literary monthly Di tsukunft, an influential journal connected to the Forverts; both publications still exist today.

 

Lyesin, a passionate champion of Yiddish culture and language, was one of many Yiddish writers who concerned themselves with religious themes of weight and seriousness, though they had long since departed from the observance of their youth.