We’re very excited to share with you, in premiere at National Translation Month, selections from the riveting collection The Thirteenth Hour (Mayapple Press, 2016)
by the Holocaust survivor and award-winning poet Rivka Basman Ben-Haim in glorious translations from the Yiddish by Zelda Kahan Newman. The cover art and interior illustrations are by Shmuel (Mula) Ben-Haim, the poet’s (deceased) husband.
Rivka Basman Ben Haim’s poems are witty and wise. Lyrical and personal, their length belies their depth. Rarely more than a page long, the poems often pack a punch. They are thought-provoking even as they sing. As a young teenager, the poet witnessed the Nazi destruction of her Jewish world. She tells the reader about this loss often, but never directly. Zelda Kahan Newman’s insightful translations succeed in bringing to life these real gems by one of the very last representatives of the golden age of Yiddish poetry.
—Claudia Serea and Loren Kleinman