synopsis & review
Meyer Kharats (1912-1993) is an incredible, but oft-forgotten Yiddish poet, who produced wonderfully lyric and astoundingly "folkstimlekh" ("folk-ish") verse throughout his life. A native of Bessarabia, Kharats' poetry reflects the unique culture and experiences of this region's Jews, as well as the experiences of Jewish life under Communism and immigration to Israel in the early 1970s. Kharats' works were only published in book-form after his arrival in Israel. The volume in the link above, "Geklibene lider un getseylte poemes," gives a sampling of poems written at all stages of his life and is an excellent introduction to his work and style as a whole. In recent years, some of his poetry has been set to music by luminaries of the contemporary Klezmer scene, including Fima Chorny (of Chisinau, Moldova) and Asya Schulman (Director of the Yiddish Language Institute at the Yiddish Book Center). His work presents formidable challenges for a translator, but the richness of his poetry truly does deserve a wider readership in Yiddish, English or any other language.