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Yeshurun Keshet

KESHET, YESHURUN (Koplewitz, Jacob; 1893–1977), Hebrew poet, literary critic, and translator. Born in Minsk Mazowiecki, near Warsaw, he first went to Palestine in 1911. He left in 1920 to study in Europe, and also taught in Marijampole, Lithuania. In 1926 he returned to Palestine, and after a short period of teaching devoted himself to writing and translation work. His first poems were published in Ha-Aḥdut and Revivim (1913), and he then contributed poetry, essays, and literary criticism to most Hebrew newspapers and periodicals. His volumes of poetry include Ha-Helekh ba-Areẓ (1932), Elegyot (1944), and Ha-Ḥayyim ha-Genuzim (1959). Keshet's poems are deeply influenced by European, particularly French, decadent poetry. Their lyricism converts what might have been the poet's despair and Angst into an elegiac melancholy. His tendency to use more traditional forms also mitigates their harshness. Many of his poems reflect preoccupation with aesthetic and philosophical problems. His monograph on *Berdyczewski (1958) is a significant contribution to Hebrew literary criticism. His prose works include Ha-Derekh ha-Ne'elamah (1941); diary (1919–39); Be-Doro shel Bialik (1943); Be-Dor Oleh (1950); Maskiyyot (1953), literary criticism; Shirat ha-Mikra (1945); Ruḥot ha-Ma'arav (1960), on European writers; Havdalot (1962); Keren Ḥazut (1966), essays in national self-criticism; Maḥarozot (1967); Bein ha-Armon ve-ha-Lilakh (1967), an autobiography; and Rashuyyot (1968), essays of evaluation on Israel writers. He also translated numerous books into Hebrew, many of which were classics of European literature. His collected poems, entitled Ha-Oẓar ha-Avud, were published in 1996. A list of his books and translations appears in his Keren Ḥazut (1966), 381f.


A. Cohen, Soferim Ivriyyim Benei Zemannenu (1964), 179–85; M. Mevorakh, Anshei Ru'aḥ be-Yisrael: Deyokena'ot Soferim (1956), 183–5; Kressel, Leksikon, 2 (1967), 805f. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: S. Kremer, " Deyukano ha-Aẓmi shel Sofer," in: Moznayim, 38 (1974), 138–46; M. Avishai, in: Al Hamishmar (March 4, 1977); A.H. Elhanani, " Ha-Otobiografyah shel Y. Keshet," in: Al Hamishmar (Nov. 28, 1980); E. Ben Ezer, in: Haaretz (Jan. 30, 1981).

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.