כחרס הנשבר

על שירי הזעם הנבואיים של ביאליק - 'דאס לעצטע ווארט' ו ' דבר'

פורסם: חוליות - דפים למחקר בספרות יידיש גליון 4 , 1997.


...בכך דומה הנביא-המשורר בשירת ביאליק לנביא המקראי, התר אחר מלון אורחים במדבר, ומבקש לברוח מן השליחות שנכפתה עליו בצו עליון, ולחלופין, הוא אף קרובו ובן-דמותו המוגבה של אותו ש"צ גלותי מ'שירתנו הצעירה' שמאס בתפקידו ופרש לו לקרן זוית, כדי לשאת את תפילת - היחיד (כר תיאר במסתו את משאלתם של משוררי דורו ולהסתגר ברשות - היחיד, לאחר שקצה נפשם בשירה הלאומית ובשליחות הציבורית שנכתפה עליהם על-כורחם). הנביא של ביאליק מכיל אפוא בקרבו את הניגיד 'מנהיג, שליח-ציבור' לעןמת 'משורר מתבודד, הפורש מן הציבור'. הוא אף מכיל בתוכו את הפכיו של איש הרוח ואיש המדיניית המעשית... לחצו להורדה כקובץ PDF


Bialik's Apocalyptic Prophecies Dos letste vort and Davar


The bulk of Bialik's prophetic poetry is a typical product of the first decade of the twentieth century and forms one of the undoubted peaks of his literary career. However, the figure of the prophet as poetic speaker was almost exhausted within Russian and Yiddish poetry of the last decades of the nineteenth century. Bialik at the turn of the century wrote a dramatic dialogue in Yiddish, Dos letste vort (1901), whose speaker is a suffering apocalyptic prophet. The critics and scholars who greeted his well known Hebrew poem Davar as his first prophetic poem were uninformed. Davar, in fact, is a synthesis of motifs and topoi to be found in the works of many of Bialik's predecessors and in many of Bialik's own poems, such as his unpublished juvenile Belev hayam ('In the Midst of the Sea') or his poem of reproof Achen chatsir ha'am ('Surely the People is Grass').


The prophet in Bialik's poems combines uncompromising opposites: fierce public orator and individualist romantic poet; aristocratric leader and vulgar commoner; fighter for justice and timid escapist. Though Bialik used a conventional persona rooted in the 19th century, he did so with his typical ingenuity, creating an original poetic figure.


This paper traces the creation of this figure within the corpus of Bialik's collected works. It surveys its precedents, both in Yiddish and Jewish-Russian poetry; it explores the revolutionary innovations introduced by Bialik despite reliance on traditional characterizations. It concludes that the pseudo-prophetic poem Davar is an impossible combination of elevated Biblical language and commonplace problems. It reflects the disorientation confronted by the poet and his contemporaries in 1904 owing to the death of Herzl, the Uganda crisis, the weakening of Ahad Ha'am's influence, and the approaching 1905 revlution. In order to express this sense of complete disorientation of all values, Bialik made intentional use of ambiguous words and phrases of both high and low levels of meaning, words that had gradually become pejorative though not originlly such. Total disorientation is expressed through the generic patterns of the danse macabre, the poem closing with a picture of a disreputable creature, lame and vulgar, staggering slowly toward death. This is Bialik's description of a decademt nation that refuses redemption, his reply to the traumas and atrocities faced by Man in a godless world.