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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The Last Fisherman

He will set his camp beside a cold lake

And when the great fish leap to his lure, shout high
To three crows battling a northern wind.

Now when the barren twilight closes its circle
Will fear the yearning ghosts come for his catch
And watch intently trees move in the dark.

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