Rosenfeld, Morris

Rosenfeld, Morris rōˈzənfĕlt [key], 1862–1923, Jewish poet, b. Russian Poland. His name was originally Moshe Jacob Alter. He worked as a tailor in London and as a diamond grinder in Amsterdam before emigrating to the United States in 1886. He settled in New York City, working 14 hours a day as a tailor while he wrote poetry for the Yiddish press. He later became editor of the New Yorker Morgenblatt and the Jewish Annals. His Lieder Buch (1897) was translated into English by the Harvard philologist Leo Wiener as Songs from the Ghetto (1898). It has also been translated into a number of European languages. Rosenfeld wrote of the hell of the sweatshop in such poems as “Mein Ingele” and “Cradle Song.” He died in increasing blindness, illness, and poverty, despite the fame he had won.

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