Moyshe-Leyb Halpern

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Moyshe-Leyb Halpern, self-portrait, 1927

Moyshe-Leyb Halpern (January 2, 1886 – August 31, 1932) was a Yiddish-language modernist poet. He was born and raised in a traditional Jewish household in Zlotshev, Galicia and brought to Vienna at the age of 12 in 1898 to study commercial art. He then began writing modernist poetry in German.[1] Upon returning to his hometown in 1907, he switched to writing in Yiddish.

In order to avoid the military draft, Halpern emigrated to New York City in 1908 where he became associated with a group of Yiddish poets called Di Yunge (The Young Ones). He published his first book of poetry in 1919, In nyu york (In New York), translated to English by Kathryn Hellerstein

That same year he married Rayzele Barron. His son, now called Isaac Halpern, was born in 1923. His second book, Di Goldene Pave (The Golden Peacock), was published in 1924. Halpern also wrote for satirical magazines and Frayhayt (Freedom), a communist Yiddish newspaper. He died of a heart attack in New York in 1932.

Halpern's importance can be measured in the 50 poems and 400 articles written from 1932 to 1954 on him by his contemporaries, some of whom include Jacob Glatstein, Itzik Manger, and Mani Leib.[1]


  1. ^ a b Flanzbaum, Hilene, coordinating editor. Jewish American Literature: A Norton Anthology, pp. 245-6