Master your Minecraft
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    What I'm Giving | December 4, 2014

    Fred Armisen: IMG Fred Armisen: What I'm Giving



    At Powell's, we feel the holidays are the perfect time to share our love of books with those close to us. For this special blog series, we reached... Continue »

    spacer

Harvest of Blossoms: Poems from a Life Cut Short (Jewish Lives)

by

Harvest of Blossoms: Poems from a Life Cut Short (Jewish Lives) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A rediscovered poetry collection from a lost voice of the Holocaust
 
Revealing an artist of remarkable talent and enduring hope, this collection of poetry will join Anne Frank's diary as a touching reminder of what the world has lost by a life cut short. The poems written by Selma Meerbaum-Eisinger are astonishing for their beauty; it is equally astonishing that they have survived at all.
 
Selma Meerbaum-Eisinger was born in Czernowitz, Romania, now Chernivtsi, Ukraine. Czernowitz, known for its vibrant mix of languages and ethnicities, was famously described by Selma's cousin, poet Paul Celan, as a city "where human beings and books used to live." Her childhood friends speak of Selma's liveliness and irreverence, her sparkling and mischievous personality, her charming, careless appearance, and her independence. Selma was passionate about ideas, literature, music, and art.

 

As the storm of hatred gripping Europe broke in earnest, Selma expressed her desires and fears in poetry. Between the ages of fifteen and seventeen, Selma wrote fifty-two poems and five translations--two from French, two from Yiddish, one from Romanian--that are published here. Selma's verse addressed the longings of a young woman in love; in equal measure, it confronted the incomprehensible violence engulfing Europe. Selma found beauty in the fragility of chestnuts, comfort in the loneliness of rain, grief in rural poverty, and, with despairing courage, faced a diminishing and terrifying future.
 
Selma grew up during a time of rising anti-Semitic and nationalist sentiments. When the Germans and their Romanian allies entered Czernowitz in 1941, Jews faced the brutality associated with fascism: a cruelty that would have preferred that she--and her entire history and culture--be erased. After being quarantined to a ghetto in October, 1941, Jewish Romanians were deported to work camps by Romanian officials. In July of 1942, Selma and her family were sent to Michailowka, a labor camp in Ukraine, where they worked as slaves in unspeakable conditions. Remarkably, some records of Selma's experience have survived; because of them, we know that even in the camp Selma held the beauty of language in her heart along with an aching desire to return to her home. Selma's last piece of writing, a letter to her dear friend, Renee Abramvici-Michaeli, is a record of Selma's abiding courage and her bleak hope that a better world would follow. Selma died of typhus on December 16, 1942, her death reported in the diary of an artist who was with Selma in the labor camp. She was only eighteen.
 
Selma left behind a powerful trace of her life and world in this poetry album. The album's survival is a story in itself. Selma gave the album to Renee to give to Selma's friend Leiser Fichman. Leiser passed the album on to Abramovici-Michaeli before he died when his boat to Palestine was torpedoed and sank. Renee Abramovici-Michaeli traveled to Israel across rivers, mountains, and political borders, losing every piece of luggage except for the backpack that held Selma's album. The album then remained with Renee for thirty years, until Czernowitzers in Israel and family abroad financed a private publication. Selma's work first reached a broader audience, however, after Paul Celan insisted that Selma's "Poem" be printed next to his piece in a 1968 German anthology. An interested journalist, after traveling to Israel to see if he could find out more, brought the poems back to Germany, where the first edition was published in 1980.
 
Now, in this first English translation, Selma's life and her magnificent album can reach out to a new audience that seeks a fuller picture of what was lost. A rich introduction explains the historical context and the story of Selma's life. That these poems exist is stunning enough; that they are as touching and universal as they are is a revelation.

Synopsis:

A rediscovered poetry collection from a lost voice of the Holocaust
 
Revealing an artist of remarkable talent and enduring hope, this collection of poetry will join Anne Frank's diary as a touching reminder of what the world has lost by a life cut short. The poems written by Selma Meerbaum-Eisinger are astonishing for their beauty; it is equally astonishing that they have survived at all.
 

About the Author

Selma Meerbaum-Eisinger was born in Romania in 1924 and died in a forced labor camp in Ukraine at the age of eighteen, in 1942.

 

Irene Silverblatt is professor of cultural anthropology and history at Duke University. She is Selmas first cousin once removed. She lives in Durham, North Carolina.

 

Helene Silverblatt is a professor of psychiatry and family and community medicine at the University of New Mexico. She is also Selmas first cousin once removed. She lives in Corrales, New Mexico.

 

Jerry Glenn is professor emeritus of German at the University of Cincinnati. He lives in Southgate, Kentucky.

 

Florian Birkmayer is assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of New Mexico. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Table of Contents

Editors' Introduction

Part one

     Song

Apple Blossoms

     Colors

     Crystal

     A Song for Yellow Asters

Dark Lilacs

     Chestnuts

     Wilted Leaves

     Silence

     A Stroll

     Pressed Leaf

     The Chalice

     Spring

     Afternoon

     Late Afternoon

     Rain

     Evening I

     Evening II

Night Shadows

     Grief 

     Song of Yearning

     Lullaby for Myself

     Do You Know . . .

     Fairy Tale

     I Am the Rain

     Yes

     Poem

     August 

     Autumn

     Song

     Autumn Rain

Red Carnations

     Hands

     Hair

     I Am the Night

     Red Carnations

Stars

     Lullaby

     Cradle Song

Banners

     Song of Rejoicing

     Song of Joy

     The Storm

Orchids from Foreign Lands

     I Am the Way to Wrack and Ruin

          Itzik Manger

     Lullaby

          H. Leiwik

     Autumn Song

          Paul Verlaine

     Untitled Selection from Romances Sans Paroles

          Paul Verlaine

     Twilight

          Discipol Mihnea

Part two

Tea Blossoms

      Midmorning

      Rain Song

White Chrysanthemums

     Pencil Sketch

     Stefan Zweig

     Happiness

     Sonnet

     Sun in August

     Necklace of Tears

     There's so much color going on

Wild Poppies

      Lullaby for You

      Dreams

      Lullaby for Yearning

      Tired Song

      Don't you sense when I cry for you

      Tragedy

Editor's Acknowledgments

Notes to the Introduction

Suggested Further Reading, Viewing, and Listening 

Product Details

ISBN:
9780810125377
Author:
Meerbaum Eisinge, Se
Publisher:
Northwestern University Press
Translator:
Glenn, Jerry; Birkmayer, Florian
Editor:
Irene Silverblatt; Silverblatt, Helene
Editor:
Silverblatt, Helene
Editor:
Irene Silverblatt
Author:
Birkmayer, Florian
Author:
Silverblatt, Irene
Author:
Silverblatt, Helene
Author:
Meerbaum-Eisinger, Selma
Author:
Glenn, Jerry
Subject:
Single Author - Continental European
Subject:
Continental european
Subject:
General
Subject:
German poetry
Subject:
Anthologies-Miscellaneous International Poetry
Copyright:
Edition Description:
1
Series:
Jewish Lives
Publication Date:
20080931
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
147
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

Other books you might like

  1. No Place to Be: Voices of Homeless... Used Hardcover $3.95
  2. The Tax Inspector Used Mass Market $3.50
  3. Tell Me If I've Stopped: Voices from... Used Trade Paper $3.50
  4. Small Island
    Used Trade Paper $5.50
  5. Rachel and her children :homeless... Used Hardcover $4.50
  6. Curriculum Vitae: A Volume of... New Mass Market $14.00

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Miscellaneous International Poetry
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z
Humanities » Philosophy » General

Harvest of Blossoms: Poems from a Life Cut Short (Jewish Lives) Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 147 pages Northwestern University Press - English 9780810125377 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
A rediscovered poetry collection from a lost voice of the Holocaust
 
Revealing an artist of remarkable talent and enduring hope, this collection of poetry will join Anne Frank's diary as a touching reminder of what the world has lost by a life cut short. The poems written by Selma Meerbaum-Eisinger are astonishing for their beauty; it is equally astonishing that they have survived at all.
 
spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.