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  • Writer's pictureCorbin Allardice

Commonplace Book 7: Et Cetera (Final Entry)

Ovid

Forgive, and bear it all happy. (source unknown)

Fartsey, un trog alts iber dermutik.

Shakespeare

Forbear to judge, for we are sinners all. (Henry V, Part 2)

Nit mishpet--mir zenen ale zindike

Carlyle

Blessed is he who has found his work. (Past and Present)

Gebentsht iz der mentsh vos hot gefunen zayn arbet.

Ibsen

Thought? Yes. But action? That I do not understand. (source unknown)

Trakhtn? Yo. Nor ton? Dos farshtey ikh nisht.


What does it mean to live?

To be consumed by dark passions in the struggle

against fate’s judgement,

To sublimate them and to thereby create?

It must be to hold a disinterested court

To judge your own soul’s fate.


что значит жить?

В борьбе с судьбою страстями темными сгорать,

творить?

то значит над собою нелицемерный суд держать

(Varshe includes this final text in Russian and without Yiddish translation. It seems, although I am not certain, that this poem is a Russian adaptation of Ibsen’s German poem Ein Vers, included below with my English translation. My thanks to my friend and Russian teacher Andrew Kuznetsov for helping me translate from the Russian.)


Ein Vers


Leben heißt – dunkler Gewalten

Spuk bekämpfen in sich.

Dichten – Gerichtstag halten

Über sein eignes Ich.


A Verse


To live means--dark spectres

Calling from within your soul, and beckoning.

To write--to inspect your

Own soul in a Day of Reckoning.


By Ovid, Shakespeare, Carlyle, & Ibsen

Yiddish Translation and Compilation by Moyshe Varshe

Research, Re-compilation and Re-translation by Corbin Allardice


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