My steps mingling with yours (part 5)

Our traveller, who began this journey through Yiddish poetry only a few short weeks ago, has stumbled into a landscape filled with wonder: glimpses of eternity, ascending stars, magical golden birds and gentle blue dawns.

Today is Forever

Halfway through the journey of the Omer, the traveller is found wandering through the woods of another beautiful poem by Yiddish writer, Malka Heifetz Tussman. (You can see more art inspired by Malka Heifetz Tussman in last week’s post here.)

A calm slips in between the trees
the leaves move just a breath,
the grasses ever-so-slightly bow,
and I, steeped in silence,
slowly walk home –

– excerpt from ‘Today is Forever / הײַנט איז אייביק a poem by Malka Heifetz Tussman, translated by Marcia Falk.

I Have Seen

I have seen the radiant dazzle
Of the hour before the stars ascend.

– from ‘I have Seen/איך האָב געזען’ by Rosa Nevadovska
Translated by Merle Bachman

I love the mystical transcendent quality of this poem. You can read the full text in Yiddish and in English here.

All That Was True and Put Forth Leaves

I have started reading about The Golden Peacock, Di Goldene Pave — the mythical bird which represents so much at the heart of Yiddish culture. And suddenly I am seeing magical feathers everywhere. I am picking them up, like the young fool in the Yiddish folktale, ‘The Golden Feather’, and seeing where they will lead me.

For some excellent background on Di Goldene Pave, read this wonderful article on jewishfolksongs.com.

and I with all my will clutch the word,
tail of the imaginary bird
that lifts me over
barren days
and gulfs of night
to the heights
of dream
and longing

– Excerpt from ‘All That Was True and Put Forth Leaves’ From ‘Paper Roses’ (1985) by Rachel Korn. Translated by Seymour Levitan.

The Golden Peacock Flew Off

The golden peacock flew off and away,
and night opened its golden eye.
My radiant one, sleep on.

Iz di goldene pave gefloygn, gefloygn,
un di nacht hat ge’efnt di goldene oygn.
Likhtiker mayner, shlof ayn.

איז די גאָלדענע פפּאַווע געפֿלויגן געפֿלויגן,
און די נאַכט האָט געעפֿנט די גאָלדענע אויגן.
ליכטיקער מײַנער, שלאָף אײַן.

– Excerpt from ‘The Golden Peacock Flew Off’ by Anna Margolin, Translated here by Shirley Kumove. (Click here for a slightly different translation on jewishfolksongs.com)

Whilst making this page I listened to Chava Alberstein‘s glorious rendition of this song:

Fallen Leaves

My words come flying back to me
and land on my dress like butterflies.

קומען מײַנע ווערטער צוריק צו מיר צו פֿליִען
און פֿאַלן צו, ווי זומער-פֿייגעלעך צום קלייד

Kumen mayne verter tsurik tsu mir tsu flien
aun faln tsu, vi zumer-feygelekh tsum kleyd.

– from the poem, ‘Fallen Leaves’ by Kadya Molodowsky. Translated by Kathryn Hellerstein.

At Blue Dawn

A blue dawn enters slowly.
A bloyer baginen kumt on.
אַ בלויער באַגינען קומט אָן

– from ‘At Blue Dawn’ by Kadya Molodowsky. Translated by Kathryn Hellerstein.

2 Replies to “My steps mingling with yours (part 5)”

  1. Your art touches me so much. I love what you’re doing now with the English and Hebrew words and your images. Just wanted you to know that other hearts are saying, “yes!”

    Barbara Clark, Eureka, CA

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely message, Barbara! I’m so glad to know you’re enjoying this project and that my art is landing with hearts such as yours! This makes me very happy. Divyam x

      Like

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