Iceland, Reuben

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ICELAND, REUBEN (1884–1955), Yiddish poet and translator. Born in Radomysl Wielki (Galicia), Iceland emigrated to New York in 1903. Of the poets associated with Di Yunge, his poetry adhered most closely to the literary tenets professed by the group, reflecting the ideals of art for its own sake, stillness, and mood. Through the decade of the 1920s, Iceland became the group's chief theoretician, composing manifestos outlining the group's poetic principles. He also edited several publications, including Literatur un Leben ("Literature and Life," 1915), and was coeditor with *Mani-Leib of Der Inzl ("The Island," 1925–26). His poem Tarnow recaptured in some 300 lines the patriarchal Jewish life of a Galician community. Fun Unzer Friling ("From Our Spring," 1954) contained his reminiscences of the literary milieu of Di Yunge. Iceland was also a prolific translator of German, English, and even Chinese literature and contributed greatly, both as an editor and translator, to the eight-volume Di Verk fun Haynrikh Hayne ("The Works of Heinrich Heine," 1918).


Rejzen, Leksikon, s.v.; N. Steinberg, Yung Amerike (19302), 183–200; lnyl, s.v.; J. Glatstein, In Tokh Genumen (1956), 177–82; S. Liptzin, Flowering of Yiddish Literature (1963), 212ff.; C. Madison, Yiddish Literature (1968), 294, 299–300, 306. add. bibliography: R.R. Wisse, in: Jewish Social Studies 38 (1976), 265–76; idem, in: Prooftexts 1 (1981), 43–61; idem, A Little Love in Big Manhattan (1988).

[Sol Liptzin /

Marc Miller (2nd ed.)]