Nadirisms 43-46: Natural Nature & Public Secrets
A forest flourished. A delightfully fragrant forest in which birds fluttered and water-fiddles played. A great, gorgeous, dense and deep forest in which mysteries wandered with bare feet. A great, great forest. A gorgeous, gorgeous forest. A forest with colors gone mad, with perfumes who died of heartache. With springtimes hidden beneath the dirt. It was chopped down. It was made into paper, and that whole great, gorgeous, feral forest yielded a single sheet of legal paper, on which a living poet writes an ode to the beauty of the forest in resounding rhyme. That’s civilization, my dears. The forest itself is nothing. But if you chop it down and write a poem about a forest on it, that’s poetry. Naturally.
Es hot gegrint a vald. A sheyn shmekedik vald in velkhn feygl hobn geflatert, vaser-fidlen hobn geshpilt. A sheyn groys gedikht-bafintsert vald in velkhn es hobn misteryen arumgeblondzhet mit borvese fis. A groys-groys vald. A sheyn-sheyn vald. A vald mit meshuge-gevorene farbn mit fun-benken-geshtorbene duftn. Mit unter-der-erd-bahaltene frilings. Hot men di beymer oysgehakt. Fun zey papir gemakht un fun dem gantsn groysn sheynem vildn vald iz gevorn a blat shrayb-papir, af velkhn a leblekher dikhter bazingt di sheynkayt funem vald mit gramen tsu bald shalt un kvalt. Ot dos iz tsivilizatsye mayne gnedike. Der vald aleyn iz gornisht. Ober az men hakt im oys un men shraybt af im a lid vegn vald iz dos poezye. Natirlekh.
When I complained to [Yosl] Kotler that something wasn’t quite working in my recent writing, he observed: “You don’t need to worry. If something insists that it wants to be written, then someone will write it. If not by you, by someone else. Don’t take it personally.”
Az kh’hob mikh baklogt far kotler’n, az epes geyt nisht letstns in der arbet, hot er bamerkt:--me’darf zikh nit ergern; az a zakh shpart zikh ayn az zi vil geshribn vern, vet zi shoyn imitser shraybn. Az nit ir iz an anderer. M’darf zikh nit nemen tsum harts.
Evaluating true artistic greatness is difficult even for experts. True art is a secret. And there is no such thing as a mass-secret.
Optsushatsn emese groyskayt in der kunst iz shver afile far keners. Emese kunst iz a sod. Un keyn masn-sod iz nishto.
The truth of a poem is its rhythm
Words are merely its signum.
Der taytsh fun a lid iz zayn nign
Di verter bloyz an untershrift derfun.
By Moyshe Nadir
Translated by Corbin Allardice