Shlonsky, Abraham

(1900–73)
   Hebrew poet, editor and translator. Shlonsky was the chief figure in the generation of Hebrew poets that grew away from the didactic, national poetry of BIALIK and his school, and developed a more individual and symbolic style. His family background in the Ukraine was a mixture of Chabad Chassidism (see Shneur, Zalman of Lyady), AHAD HA- AM-type Zionism, and revolutionary socialism. He spent a year at school in Palestine before the outbreak of war, and settled there in 1921, bringing out his first book of poems three years later. In 1926 Shlonsky became editor of Ketuvim, famous in Hebrew literary history as the organ of the modernist group that was trying to break new ground. His importance lies not only in his original work, which includes popular songs and children’s poems, but also in his activities as a literary editor on several papers, and as translator into Hebrew of Russian and English classics, including Shakespeare.
   Politically Shlonsky was inclined towards pacifism and left-wing movements, but in later years became increasingly less friendly towards the Soviet Union because of its hostile attitude to Israel and to Jewish culture.

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

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