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David Shimoni

(1886 - 1956)

David Shimoni (Shimonovitz) was born in Bobruisk, Russia. He studied with private tutors, was an avid reader and published his first poem in Hebrew at the age of sixteen. For a short period he was employed drawing Russian revolutionary posters, and from that year (1906) he also published poems in Yiddish. As a result of restrictions on Jewish university attendance, he was denied admission. Instead, in 1909 he immigrated to Eretz Israel [Palestine] and stayed for about a year. He worked picking oranges and as a watchman. He also spent two months touring the country. He drew on his impressions from that trip for the remainder of his life. From 1911 to 1914 he studied Oriental Philology and Philosophy at various German universities. In 1911 his first collection of poems was published. At the outbreak of World War I he returned from Warsaw to Russia, and when the Revolution erupted, he moved to Moscow where he became secretary to the editorial board of a newspaper. After numerous attempts, he left Russia in 1921 and returned to Eretz Israel. He settled in Tel Aviv and taught Bible and Hebrew Literature at the secondary level until the end of his life. He became a member and eventually chairman of the Academy of Hebrew Language and of the Writers Association.

Books Published in Hebrew
Wasteland, Warsaw-Sifrut, 1910 [Yeshimon]
Storm and Stillness, Warsaw-Tushia, 1912 [Sa'ar Ve-Demamah]
In the Forest of Hedera, Hapoel Hatzair, 1921 [Be-Ya'ar Hadera]
The Jubilee of Coachmen, Hapoel Hatzair, 1923 [Yovel Ha-Eglonim]
Selection, Dvir, 1929 [Leket]
Old Women, The Tune, Omanut, 1930 [Zkenot, Ha-Nigun]
Safed's Legends, Dvir, 1930 [Agadot Tzfat]
Memorial, Ha'aretz, 1930 [Gal'ed]
Works, Dvir, 1925-1931 [Ketavim]
Sionah, Eretz Israel Publications, 1936 [Siona]
Gravestone, Hapoel Hatzair, 1937 [Matzevah]
Pioneers, Hapoel Hatzair, 1938 [Halutzim]
Dewdrops of the Night, 1940 [Reisei Layla]
The Book of Idylls, Massada, 1944 [Sefer Ha-Idiliot]
A Letter to Somewhere, Poalei Eretz Israel, 1944 [Michtav Le-Ei Sham]
Solomon's Love, Massada, 1945 [Ahavat Shlomo]
The Evil Armilus, Massada, 1945 [Armilus Ha-Rashah]
Job's Wife, Massada, 1945 [Eshet Iov]
Secretly, Am Oved, 1945 [Be-Hashai]
Paths in the Zoo, Massada, 1946 [Be-Shvilei Ha-Bibar]
Homeland, Massada, 1947 [Moledet]
Poems, Massada, 1949 [Shirim]
Moses' Spark, Shimoni, 1950 [Nitzotz Moshe]
From the Sky, Shimoni, 1950 [Min Ha-Shamayim]
Harvest, Massada, 1951 [Assif]
The Book of Poems, Massada, 1952 [Sefer Ha-Poemot]
Memoirs, Dvir, 1953 [Pirkei Zichronot]
Selected Works, Bialik Institute, 1956 [Ktavim Nivharim]
On the Stand, Massada, 1957 [Me'al Ha-Duchan]
Selected Works, Dvir, 1960 [Mivhar Ketavim]
Collected Poems, Iachdav, 1965 [Yalkut Shirim]

Sources: Copyright The Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature. Reprinted by kind permission of The Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature, Ramat Gan Israel. The Institute web site contains biographies of 300 Israeli authors.