April 2018 marked the centenary of the death of the East London poet, Isaac Rosenberg. Born in 1890 to a working class family of Yiddish-speaking immigrant Lithuanian Jews. His death in the French trenches during the final months of ‘the war to end all wars’ left English poetry with some of its most brilliant and moving poems of human conflict and aspiration. Rosenberg was one of the ‘Whitechapel Boys’, a group of young Jewish men in East London who would meet regularly at the haven of Whitechapel Library, all deeply influenced by the aesthetic and socialist ideas in the streets all around them. In this tribute to his poetry, Chris Searle seeks to consider Rosenberg’s words as a narrative of his times, his world and his unique imaginative outreach. As one of the great poets who grew out of bilingualism,
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