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Yiddish poem by Morris Abraham Katz, illustrated by Yosl Kotler, one of the great American artists of the 20th century.


Morris Abraham Katz (1898-1969) was a Yiddish poet born in Mlyniv (or Mlinov, in present-day Ukraine). In 1913 he emigrated to the USA, where he attended City College, New York. He first wrote in Hebrew, but switched to Yiddish in 1917 and published poems in various Yiddish magazines, often under the pen name "Aleph Katz". For more than 40 years, Katz was editor of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. He published several volumes of poetry, children's books and a play.


In his work Katz “often hints at a reality beyond observed phenomena, at a mystic realm which can be best expressed in allegorical symbols” (Encyclopaedia Judaica). The present poem is a good case in point: "In this poem, humanity is besieged by hunger, and the great goal is to eradicate it. Two ideological ideas are cleverly disguised, suggesting the road by which to reach “the plate from heaven.” The illustrations are highly suggestive, and help the reader to interpret the hidden ideas" (Cotsen Library).

The illustrator Yosl Kotler (or Cutler, 1896-1935) was a Yiddish-American illustrator, satirist and poet originally from Troianiv, present-day Ukraine. "Yosl Kotler was a master of the stylized grotesque. He was also an extraordinarily accomplished draftsman, able to stretch, shrink and contort a line into an endless kaleidoscope of forms. Kotler is one of the great American artists of modern times, but has never achieved recognition as such" (David Mazower).

Yiddish poem illustrated by one of the great American artists of modern times

€ 145,00Price
  • Abraham Morris Katz.

    Dos telerl fun himl.

    New York, Matones, 1934.

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