Meitus, Eliahu

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MEITUS, ELIAHU (1892–1979), Hebrew poet, writer, and translator. Born in Kishinev, Meitus studied at the Sorbonne but during World War i returned to Russia. After the war he served as headmaster of a Hebrew gymnasium in Bessarabia, and later taught in the teachers' seminary in Jassy (Romania). In 1935 he settled in Palestine, where he taught literature in secondary schools. His first poem appeared in Ha-Shilo'ah (1910), when he was studying in Odessa. He came to the attention of Bialik, then the literary editor of that periodical, and became a member of the "Odessa group" of Hebrew writers. Subsequently, Meitus published poems and articles in the Hebrew press in Russia, Romania, and elsewhere. After he settled in Palestine, Meitus' writings appeared regularly in the newspapers, particularly in the daily Al ha-Mishmar. He translated extensively (from French, Romanian, Russian, and Yiddish), mainly works of fiction, but also poetry and nonfiction. Four collections of his poetry have appeared, including Shirim (1943), Balladot mi-Nof ha-Yaldut (1954), and Bi-Kezeh ha-Gesher ha-Sheni (1967, sonnets). He also compiled an anthology of modern Hebrew poetry, Shiratenu ha-Ḥadashah (1938).


M. Avishai, Bein Olamot (1962), 153–6; A. Cohen, Soferim Ivriyyim Benei Zemannenu (1964), 204–6; Kressel, Leksikon, 2 (1967), 345–6.

[Getzel Kressel]