Rachel (Bluwstein) (1890 - 1931, b. Vyatka, Russia) published all her poetry under her first name only. She arrived in Eretz Israel in 1909, and lived in an agricultural school for girls on the shores of the Sea of Galilee until 1913. She then went to France to study agronomy and drawing, and with the outbreak of World War I returned to Russia, where she worked in educational institutions for refugee children. During this period she contracted tuberculosis. In 1919, she returned to live on Kibbutz Degania. Unable to work with children because of her illness, she left the kibbutz until she finally settled in a lonely one-room apartment in Tel Aviv, where she lived the final five years of her life. She died at the age of forty, and was buried near the Sea of Galilee. She published most of her poetry during her last six years. Rachel`s life has taken on mythic proportions for Israel`s reading public and a volume of her collected verse remains one of the country`s greatest bestsellers.
Rachel`s poetry is lyrical, excelling in its musical tone, simple language and depth of feeling. Her love poems stress a feeling of loneliness, distance, and longing for the beloved. Other poems deal with human fate, with the poet`s relation to her own difficult life, and death. Some of her best-known verse expresses love for Eretz Israel and a nostalgia for the Sea of Galilee.

Books Published in Hebrew
Aftergrowth, Davar, 1927 [Safiah]
Across From, Davar, 1930 [Mineged]
Nevo, Davar, 1932 [Nevo]
Poems, Davar, 1935 [Shirat Rachel]
Inside and Outside Home (children), Sifriat Poalim, 1974 [Ba-Bayit U Ba-Hutz]
As Rachel Waited, Tamuz, 1982 [Ke-Hakot Rachel]
Poems, Letters, Writings, Dvir, 1985 [Shirim, Michtavim, Reshimot]
In My Garden, Tamuz, 1985 [Be-Gani Neta`aticha]
Will You Hear My Voice, Bar, 1986 [Ha-Tishmah Koli]
Rachel`s Poems, Sridot, 1997 [Shirei Rahel]

Books in Translation
Selected Poems
English: London, Menard, 1995
German: Berlin, Hechalutz, 1936; Tel Aviv, Davar, 1970
Spanish: Barcelona, Riopiedras, 1985
Yiddish: Winnipeg, WIZO U.S.A. and Canada, 1932
Buenos Aires, Kium Farlag, 1957
French: Paris-Orbey, Ed. Arfuyen, 2006

Individual poems have been published in Afrikaans, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, English, Esperanto, French, Frisian, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Romanian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovak, Spanish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, Welsh, and Yiddish.

Last updated: 24.02.2008

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