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David Shimoni

דוד שמעוני

David Shimoni (Shimonovitz) (1886-1956) was born in Bobruisk, Russia. He studied with private tutors, was an avid reader and published his first poem in Hebrew at the age of sixteen. For a short period he was employed drawing Russian revolutionary posters, and from 1906 he also published poems in Yiddish. As a result of restrictions on Jewish university attendance, he was denied admission when he wanted to study. Instead, in 1909, he immigrated to Eretz Israel and stayed for about a year. He worked picking oranges and as a watchman. He also spent two months touring the country. He drew on his impressions from that trip for the remainder of his life.

From 1911 to 1914 he studied Oriental philology and philosophy at various German universities. In 1911 his first collection of poems was published. At the outbreak of World War I he returned from Warsaw to Russia, and when the Revolution started, he moved to Moscow where he became secretary to the editorial board of a newspaper. After numerous attempts, he left Russia in 1921 and returned to Eretz Israel. He settled in Tel Aviv and taught Bible and Hebrew Literature at the secondary level until the end of his life. He became a member and eventually chairman of the Academy of Hebrew Language and of the Writers Association.

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