Hyam Plutzik

(1911 - 1962 / New York / United States)

Biography of Hyam Plutzik

Hyam Plutzik (July 13, 1911- January 8, 1962), a Pulitzer prize finalist, was a poet and Professor of English at the University of Rochester.
Plutzik was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Jewish emigrants from Belarus who arrived in the United States in 1905. During his early childhood years, Plutzik's family bought a farm in Southbury, Connecticut, where Plutzik attended school in a one-room schoolhouse. In Plutzik's home, Yiddish, Russian, and Hebrew were spoken. Plutzik himself did not learn English until he began grammar school at the age of seven.
At age twelve, Plutzik moved with his family to Bristol, Connecticut, where his father headed a Jewish community school. There, he had greater access to libraries and became an avid reader. Upon completion of high school in 1928, he won a Holland Scholarship from Trinity College. He majored in English and studied closely with Professor Odell Shepard, who later in 1938 received a Pulitzer for his biography, The Life of Bronson Alcott. In his senior year at Trinity, Plutzik was associate editor of the college's literary magazine, The Trinity Tablet, which printed his short story, "The Golus," and a group of poems, titled "Three Paintings."

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My Sister

Now the swift rot of the flesh is over.
Now only the slow rot of the bones in the Northern damp.
Even the bones of that tiny foot that brought her doom.

Imagine a land where there is no rain as we know rain.
Not the quick dashing of water to the expectant face,
But the weary ooze of spent drops in the earth.

Imagine the little skeleton lying there—

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