Greenberg, Uri Tzvi (1896–1981) By Weinenger, Melissa
The Hebrew and Yiddish poet Uri Tzvi Greenberg was born in 1896 in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in a shtetl, or village, called Biały Kamień in eastern Galicia and raised in the city of Lemberg (now Lviv, Ukraine). In many ways, he embodied the crisis of modernity, caught between the demands of language, culture, and ideology. Greenberg began his career as a young man with romantic poetry, but soon began to experiment with modernist techniques. He was one of the originators of Yiddish Expressionism, which found voice in his avant-garde journal of the 1920s, Albatros. After a move to Palestine in 1924, Greenberg began to write largely in Hebrew, forging new poetic forms and challenging the traditional norms of modern Hebrew poetry.