Rodin, Elisha

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RODIN, ELISHA

RODIN, ELISHA (1888–1946), Hebrew poet. Born in Mstislavl, Russia, Rodin became a bookkeeper. Between 1905 and 1907, he was active in the Jewish revolutionary movement in Lithuania and Poland. Excelling in Yiddish composition as a child, he published several collections of Yiddish poems in the Soviet Union in the early 1920s. His Hebrew poems and literary sketches began to appear in Ereẓ Israel in Davar, Haaretz, and Gilyonot (1929–38), which ultimately caused him to be imprisoned by the Soviet authorities. A book of poems and essays, Bi-Fe'at Nekhar ("In a Foreign Corner"), appeared in 1938 and expresses his devotion to the Hebrew language. The book includes "Prison Poems", a poem dedicated to Bialik (Rodin attributes his adoption of Hebrew in the late 1920s to Bialik's influence), and a poem on Elisha b. Avuyah. Rodin's son, to whom he was deeply attached, volunteered for the front in World War ii and was killed in 1942. Poems to his son, written before and after his death, were collected in La-Ben ("To My Son"), and were published in Ereẓ Israel in 1942–43. After the war he worked briefly as a translator for the Jewish Anti-Fascist *Committee. In 1954 A.Y. *Kariv published all of Rodin's works (together with those of Ḥayyim *Lensky) in He-Anaf ha-Gadu'a ("The Severed Branch", 1954). Kariv prefaced the collection with a biographical sketch of Rodin, one of the last poets in the Soviet Union to write in Hebrew.