Nadirisms 50-53: On Sholem-Aleichem, Avrom Reyzn, Liesin, & Lamed Shapiro.
Sholem-Aleichem--a being of light and lyric. With a smile that breaks your heart; a laughing eye which is, at the same time, a great tear...a higher level of humor: frozen tragedy turned fluid again in the fires of love.
Sholem aleykhem--a likhtiker, lirisher. Mit a shmeykhl, vos makht a lokh in harts; a lakhedik oyg, vos iz aleyn a groyse trer...der humor fun a hekhern staples, di gefroyrene tragedy flisik gemakht in di fayern fun libshaft.
Avrom Reyzen presents himself: a small tin of paint, two or three brushes, he paints [even] on his cuffs, on his collar, sprinkles on dust, salt, dries it and--his books enter into eternity.*
Avrom reyzn meldt zikh--a kleyn kestl farb, tsvey dray pendzlen, er molt af di eygene mandzhestn, afn kragn, bashit es mit shtoyb, mit zalts, triknt es op un--di bikhelekh flien avek in der eybikayt.
Liesin’s poetry is like the old-fashioned silver trim embroidered on an old and honest talis (talith). It is the radiance of piety, which makes the beautiful good and the good beautiful. Liesin is not in search of form. Truth is his form.
Lyesin’s dikhtung iz vi an altmodishe zilber atore af an erlekhn altn talis. Es iz der shayn fun frumkayt, vos makht dos sheyne gut un dos gute sheyn. Lyesin iz nit keyn forem-zukher. Der emes iz zayn forem.
On Lamed Shapiro: “Before Shapiro, Jewish hatred of Gentiles was like wax unto the fire, now it has become metal. It has resonated, echoed back, and returned fire. Hatred has become a steel armor about our heart.”
Vegn L. Shapiro: “biz shapiro’n iz di yidishe sine tsu goyim geven vi vaks antkegn fayer, itst iz dos gevorn metal. Hot opgeklungen, di feyln tsurikgevorfn. A shtolener pantser iz gevorn di sine af undzer harts.
By Moyshe Nadir
Translated by Corbin Allardice
*- I must admit that I find this characterization rather hard to fully understand, in particular I am uncertain (grammatically) as to what exactly is being “sprinkled with dust, with salt, [and dried.]”