The Online Treasury of Yiddish Poetry


דער „אױפֿן־װעב“ אוצר פֿון ייִדישע לידער

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A Bisl Backgroundאַ קלײנער פֿאָן

Aaron Zeitlin's Zeks shures (Six Lines), like so much of his oeuvre, expresses the angst of being a secondhand survivor as a Jew in America. Specifically, this poem deals with what it means to be a Yiddish poet after the Holocaust.

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Six Lines

זעקס שורות

Translated by Mira Cooper

I know: no one needs me in this world
Me: word-beggar in the Jewish cemetery.
Who needs a poem, and in Yiddish at that?

Only the hopeless things in the world are lovely,
And that which is ephemeral is all that is godly.
And only humility is revolt.
כ׳װײס: קײנער דאַרף מיך נישט אױף אָט דעם עולם,
מיך, װערטער־בעטלער אױף דעם ייִדישן בית־עולם.
װער דאַרף אַ ליד — און נאָך דערצו אױף ייִדיש?

נאָר בלױז דאָס האָפֿנונגסלאָזע אױף דער ערד איז שײן,
און געטלעך איז נאָר דאָס, װאָס מוז פֿאַרגײן,
און נאָר הכנעה איז מרידה׳ש.

1947
1947

The Poetדער דיכטער

Tomorrow, keyn eyn ore, I'll write zayer a fayne bio!

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