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The Israeli Poet Leah Goldberg

Updated: Apr 2

Leah Goldberg

Since many of my art songs are composed using the poetry of Leah Goldberg, I would like to provide a quick introduction to her unique world:


Leah Goldberg, born on May 29, 1911, in Königsberg (now Kaliningrad), East Prussia, emerged from a Jewish Lithuanian family. Her mother traveled to Königsberg for better medical conditions during her birth. The tumultuous First World War forced them to flee to the Russian Empire, where they endured hardship. Leah’s parents spoke various languages, but Hebrew wasn’t one of them. However, she learned Hebrew at a young age, mastering it despite the influence of Russian.


Leah Goldberg’s poetry resonates with themes of wounded love, yearning, and a quest for light. Her style leaned toward classical and romantic aesthetics, rather than the revolutionary and mystical trends of her time. She explored creativity, love, and silence in her 1955 collection Morning Lightning. Critics sometimes labeled her as “the poet of the broken heart,” but her work transcended this narrow characterization.


Beyond poetry, Leah Goldberg was a prolific artist. Her paintings and illustrations remain a testament to her creativity. She also ventured into the theater. Her exploration of themes extended to the stage, where characters wore their hearts like silken masks. Additionally, she translated Russian and French masters into Hebrew, enriching Israeli literature with her multifaceted contributions.


Art songs with Leah Goldberg's poetry include:


The Israeli Poet Leah Goldberg passed away on January 15, 1970, leaving behind a rich legacy of poetry, art, and cultural contributions.


 

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