Sunday, February 24, 2013

The writing of a stranger's poem




Another kind of translation.

A writing of a stranger's poem.

A while ago, I read Mark Abley's fantastic Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages and in the chapter on Yiddish, he writes about some very powerful Yiddish songs which were written during WWII. One was a lullaby to a stranger's child, sung because the mother of the child had disappeared.

I wrote a poem -- a 'memory translation' -- an imaginary reconstruction of a text which I've never seen. And today, I've written it again.


LULLABY TO A STRANGER'S CHILD

shh
where
the window

where
mother

the forest
shh 
something broken

song
be born
hidden

like sleep
remember

a voice where

shh
mother

where dark 
the window

where
father
shh hidden

where
sleep

sleeps


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