• Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland



  • 28 May 2019

    During an exceptional evening at the Embassy of Poland in Copenhagen, Dr. Joanna Lisek from University of Wrocław presented the results of her work on women's poetry in Yiddish for a Danish audience. The lecture was embellished by recitations of poems of selected Jewish poets, such as Kadia Mołodowska and Bronia Baum, who were writing on the Polish lands in the 19th and 20th centuries.

    The meeting was opened by ambassador Henryka Mościcka-Dendys and the renown theatre director Włodzimierz Herman, who was a co-host of the evening. They both drew attention to the uniqueness of the phenomenon of female poetry in Yiddish, which was particularly intensively developing in Poland in the first decades of the 20th century, when especially Warsaw was a centre of Yiddish language and culture.


    Dr. Joanna Lisek is the author of the iconic monograph „Kol isze – głos kobiet w poezji jidysz (od XVI w. do 1939 r.)” (“Kol isze – The Voice of Women in Yiddish Poetry from 16th Century to 1939”), in which she documents and rediscovers the rich legacy of female poets writing in Yiddish on the Polish lands. The numerous audience, which gathered at the Polish Embassy in Copenhagen for a special evening on 16 May 2019, was not only introduced to selected poems, but also to the development of female writing in Yiddish from the 16th century to modern times. “In the strictly regulated religious norms of Jewish life, writing was one of the few available options for women to enter the public space and make themselves heard” – J. Lisek emphasized. She also pointed out that the “audibility” of the female voice is strictly regulated by Jewish law: A man, who is praying or studying the Torah, is not allowed to hear a woman's voice, especially a singing woman, due to the strong erotic influence associated with it. Therefore, the title of Joanna Lisek’s book refers to kol isze, a female voice, which is figuratively on the one hand suppressed by religious and moral norms, but on the other hand is trying to resound in an accessible way, i.e. through literature and especially poetry.

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