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  • Writer's pictureCorbin Allardice

Poems 7 & 8: Black Sin & The Garden

Poem 7 - Black Sin (Untitled)


Permit me yet to live my entire life kneeling at your feet

Perhaps then you will forgive me my black sin.


Loz mikh lign kniendik far dir mayn gants lebn

Efsher vestu mir mayn shvarts zind fargebn.


Poem 8 - The Garden (Untitled)*


I walked about the garden

At my feet were yellow leaves.

I bowed down to the earth

And trembling stood up yet again

And disgusted and afraid

Immediately I threw out--

Wet and slippery leaves.


I walked about the garden

At my feet were yellow leaves,

They asked of me: Mercy! Mercy!

I trampled them, I trampled them.


Kh’bin in gortn umgegangen

Mir tsufusns--bleter gele.

Kh’hob zikh tsu der erd geboygn

Mit a tsiter ufgehoybn

Un mit shrekn un mit ekl

Hob ikh glaykh avekgevorfn--

Glitshik-nase bleter.


Kh’bin in gortn umgegangen

Mir tsufusns--bleter gele.

Zey hobn gebetn: derbarmung! Derbarmung!

Ikh hob zey dertrotn, dertrotn.


By Moyshe Varshe

Translated by Corbin Allardice


*- Here Varshe puns on the dual meaning of bleter: pages and leaves. This double sense is, of course, also active in English, but it's more common, more obvious, in Yiddish.

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