Called ‘Lashonsky’ for his comic wit, linguistic innovations and irrepressible puns, every child in Israel knows Avraham Shlonsky’s version of the German Rumpelstiltskin fairytale: Utzli Gutzli.
His upbringing was one of religion and agricultural labor, which is evident in his work; host Marcela Sulak reads from his exquisite poem ‘Toil,’ which compares working the land to prayer.
Despite the fact that his poetry wasn’t taught in Israeli schools because of his rebellion against Bialik’s generation, together with Natan Alterman and Leah Goldberg, he influenced and aided many of the younger generation of poets and writers.
The Modern Hebrew Poem Itself, Ed. Burnshaw, Carmi, etc. al.
Poems Found in Translation, A.Z. Foreman
Arik Lavie – Boker Tov (from Utzli Gutzli)
Yaffa Yarkoni – No Caravan Of Camels
Arik Einstein – Blue Handkerchief
Photo: Draining the Fuara River at Haifa Bay, 1929. KKL-JNF Photo Archive.