Commonplace Book 7: Et Cetera (Final Entry)
Forgive, and bear it all happy. (source unknown)
Fartsey, un trog alts iber dermutik.
Forbear to judge, for we are sinners all. (Henry V, Part 2)
Nit mishpet--mir zenen ale zindike
Blessed is he who has found his work. (Past and Present)
Gebentsht iz der mentsh vos hot gefunen zayn arbet.
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,
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.)
Leben heißt – dunkler Gewalten
Spuk bekämpfen in sich.
Dichten – Gerichtstag halten
Über sein eignes Ich.
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