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  • Writer's pictureCorbin Allardice

December 19, 1911


Has it not all happened to me before my time? Really, it hasn’t. But a suffocating and suffocating haze envelops all.* Did I not expect it? Did it frighten me? Did it suddenly befall me?


It happened.


A current, which pours over me, pours me out, and I give myself to it.**


How will it end? How will it end?***


By Moyshe Varshe

Translated by Corbin Allardice


*- Shtikendiker un shtikendiker nebl. It is possible that one of these is a typo, and should read shtinkendiker, which would yield “a suffocating and stinking haze.”

**- The verb for “to pour” used her is fargisn mikh. Most literally, the text suggests the sense to “a current, which pours me out,” however given the following image of Varshe succumbing to the current, it seemed to me to also describe the water overtaking him, although this is less likely given the grammar. As a result, and to preserve the poetic ambiguity of the somewhat strange and jolting prose, I opted for an inflationary approach, repeating the verb.

***- Vos vet zayn der sof?--literally, “what will be the end.”

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