9: Simon Kogan’s sculpture “Yiddish,” 2012, an audio excerpt of an interview with Kogan, 2012, and an undated drawing by Samuel Bak.
Poems and literature take on new lives through the people who read and interpret them. Two different visual artists, Simon Kogan and Samuel Bak, have turned Avrom Sutzkever's poem “The Lead Plates of the Rom Printers” into visual art.
Suggested Activity: Look at the images of Kogan's sculpture, which has "The Lead Plates" etched into it. Listen to the artist describe this piece. Then look at Samuel Bak’s drawing, which accompanies "The Lead Plates" in the book A. Sutzkever: Selected poetry and prose. How did the two artists interpret the poem differently? What motifs did each highlight?
Sources: Simon Kogan, “Yiddish,” cor-ten steel, May 2012, Yiddish Book Center.
Samuel Bak, in A. Sutzkever: Selected poetry and prose, by Barbara and Benjamin Harshav (Oakland: University of California, 1991), 169. Used by permission of the artist.
Simon Kogan and Lee Hutt, "Out of Steel Comes ‘Yiddish,'" interview with Aaron Lansky, The Shmooze, podcast audio, May 9, 2012, https://www.yiddishbookcenter.org/language-literature-culture/the-shmooze/21-out-steel-comes-yiddish.