MEYER SEGAL (b. December 11, 1911)
He was born in Radzin (Radzyń), Poland. He was left an orphan while quite young and was raised in an orphan asylum. He studied in religious primary school and graduated from a Yiddish-Hebrew-Polish public school. In 1927 he came with a group of orphans to Georgetown, Canada. In 1935 he settled in New York. He began writing in 1926—for Yugnt-veker (Youth alarm) in Warsaw. In New York, he contributed work to: Kinder-zhurnal (Children’s magazine), Yidish (Yiddish), Di tsukunft (The future), Tog (Day), Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), Zamlbikher (Collections), and Hamshekh (Continuation). In book form, he published: Noente erd (Nearby land), poetry (New York: Fraynd, 1940), 79 pp. This work is divided into five parts: 1. “In shpetn ovnt-likht” (In the late evening light); 2. “Fun roytn moyer” (From a red wall); 3. “Iber shteynerne gasn” (On stone streets); 4. “Fun vinter-land” (From winter-land); and 5. “In vald” (In the woods). He also published: Lider (Poetry) (New York, 1985), 88 pp., with accompanying words from Shmuel Niger, H. Leivick, and Sholem Asch. “Meyer Segal,” wrote Shmuel Niger, “is able to say what he knows—and even what he doesn’t know, and such is the wonder of poetry…. In another’s hand this would be a sign of ineptitude, but in his hands it is full of some sort of power of conviction, in particular as one comes upon verses here that are masterly…. I have become all the surer in my impression, when I saw that he had entire poems which were in prayer format, and these were prayers that he was enunciating for the first time—with the freshness of a first time.” He was last living in New York.
Sources: Shmuel Niger, in Tog (New York) (June 6, 1937; August 28, 1938; May 7, 1939; December 29, 1940; August 8, 1943); Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (June 15, 1938; April 26, 1939; January 1, 1941); Sh. Tenenboym, in Idishe kultur (Chicago) (July 13, 1938; November 10, 1940); Mortkhe Yofe, in Opatoshu and Leivick’s Zamlbikher (New York) (October 28, 1938); Kalmen Marmor, in Der hamer (New York) (May 1939); Marmor, in Morgn-frayhayt (New York) (July 9, 1939); A. Glants, in Tog (October 26, 1940); Moyshe Shtarkman, in Tog (November 16, 1940); Y. Kisin, in Forverts (New York) (January 12, 1941); N. Y. Gotlib, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (January 14, 1941); K. Hayzler, in Fraye arbeter-shtime (New York) (January 17, 1941); Dr. L. Zhitnitski, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (February 12, 1941); Avrom Reyzen, in Di feder (New York) (1942); Dr. Shloyme Bikl, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (January 28, 1944).
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 409.]