Espero Internacia

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Cover of Espero Internacia

Espero Internacia (International Hope), published ca. 1920, was the first significant Esperanto-language hymnal published in the United States. It was compiled, and virtually all the contents either translated or originally written, by Ann E. Beatty, a resident of Ohio. It was typeset in Italy and printed in Ohio, and was "published for" or "on behalf of" a Council Bluffs, Iowa, orphanage called the "Christian Home Orphanage" (now called "Children's Space, USA").

The volume contains 240 hymns. All are in Esperanto, but the titles are given in both English and Esperanto, and there are indexes of titles in both languages.

The language of the translations is often rather stilted, sometimes ungrammatical outright, and the hymns are largely of a type that went out of vogue not long after the volume appeared, so it is perhaps not surprising that the hymnal never achieved much popularity even among Christian Esperantists in the United States. The songs are almost all of then-recent American origin, so even if the language and poetry had been of a higher quality, it is unlikely the book would ever have appealed to worshippers not already acclimated to an American gospel-hymn culture. Still, there are some high points, particularly musically in Ms. Beatty's own compositions, and the English title index can be a reminder of a whole generation of misplaced (if not lost) hymnody.