Page 34 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 18

Basic HTML Version

e w i s h
o o k
n n u a l
2 6
filled,” like Whitman at his most ecstatic, though he has dis-
claimed any indebtedness to the American poet. Following are
typical specimens:
. . . The travelling orchards flowered with myriad jokes
upon jokes for they wanted to madden me with
Yet I fled heavenwards to the dances, blue-transparent-
But all the flowers stretched forth to me their hands—
to descend.
—I t seems I was someone important!—Ho-ho!
But even a stupid chicken there was a king,
only I—was God! For I laughed and I laughed at him,
oh, without reason I laughed! . . .
(from “At the Crossroads of Kfar Saba”)
When I lift my eyes to the harp of the world of my love,
I bow face down to the earth.
For my love is greater than I
and overflows the banks of my soul, entering the palaces
of the spacious heavens,
lifting eternal pinions up over the dark horizons of the
blent of weeping and laughter, sparkling with stars.
(from “Love Song”)
Before morning I am planted on Judean rock,
around me the strong eternal hills.
Crags, heavy with calm of prophecy
and I am in the prime of my years,
and the earth is in the prime of her years
and the sun rises
and the sun rises . . .
Before evening the breeze of this light rests, like honey
dropping down on the eyelids,
these shut eyelids, closing firmly—
like fields of grass before summer.
Without fail it nears,
without fail it nears,
it nears and comes,
the appointed time.
(from “Song from Morning to Evening”)
Dedication of the last poem “T o S. Y. Agnon” probably implies
that by “the appointed Time” here is meant the traditional
Messianic Age. In any case, Hillel is one of the very few among
the younger poets who seems able to write, without a sense of