Morris Rosenfeld (1862-1923 / Poland)
Biography of Morris Rosenfeld
Morris Rosenfeld (Moshe Jacob Alter) (December 28, 1862 in Bokscha in Russian Poland, government of Suwałki – June 22, 1923 in New York) was a Yiddish poet.
His work sheds light on the living circumstances of emigrants from Eastern Europe in New York's tailoring workshops.
He was educated at Boksha, Suwałki, and Warsaw. He worked as a tailor in New York and London and as a diamond cutter in Amsterdam, and settled in New York in 1886, after which he was connected with the editorial staffs of several leading Jewish newspapers. In 1904 he published a weekly entitled Der Ashmedai. In 1905 he was editor of the New Yorker Morgenblatt. He was also the publisher and editor of a quarterly journal of literature (printed in Yiddish) entitled Jewish Annals. He was a delegate to the Fourth Zionist Congress at London in 1900, and gave readings at Harvard University in 1898, the University of Chicago in 1900, and Wellesley and Radcliffe colleges in 1902.
Rosenfeld was the author of Die Glocke (New York, 1888), poems of a revolutionary character; later the author bought and destroyed all obtainable copies of this book. He wrote also Die Blumenkette (ib. 1890) and Das Lieder Buch (ib. 1897;English transl. by Leo Wiener, Songs from the Ghetto, Boston, 1899; German transl. by Berthold Feivel, Berlin, and by E. A. Fishin, Milwaukee, Wis., 1899; Rumanian transl. by M. Rusu, Iaşi, 1899; Polish transl. by J. Feldman, Vienna, 1903; Hungarian transl. by A. Kiss, Budapest; Bohemian transl. by J. Dchlicky, Prague). His poems were published, under the title Gesammelte Lieder, in New York in 1904.
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A Fellow Slave
Pale-faced is he, as in the door
He stands and trembles visibly,--
With diffidence approaches me,
And says: 'Dear editor,
'Since write you must, in prose or rhyme,
Expose my master's knavery,
Condemn, I pray, the slavery
That dominates our time.