Page 63 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 29

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57
I
vry
—L
eah
G
oldberg
was produced in Israel by the Habimah theatre and well received
by the critics. Her children’s stories and poems are very popular
with the young Sabras, and they belong to the select group of
Israel’s children’s literature which is not only original, poetic and
educational in approach, but also serves as a delightful introduction
to the poet’s world of phantasy.
Her major translations are: Tolstoy’s
War and Peace,
Chekhov’s
selected stories, Gorki’s
Childhood
and other novels and dramas,
and many poems of world poets from the Russian, French, Italian
and German, such as Heine and Rilke.
Despite her versatile talents, Miss Goldberg remains preemi*
nently a lyricist of deep sincerity and originality, of musical sense
for word and tone, a sensitive and composed poet who strives for
supreme artistic harmony in a disharmonious and cruel world.
A verse form closest to Leah Goldberg is the sonnet (in Hebrew:
shir ha-zahav
—golden poem) practiced by Hebrew poets since the
14th century, and in modern times by Saul Tchernichovsky,
Yaakov Fichman and Leah Goldberg.
Here is a sonnet by Leah Goldberg:
We parted thus, It hurt me well enough
The mist spread out between us like a wall.
The drop which on my hand remained, the stuff
Which rain is made of, and no tear at all.
For in our age, to weep is a disgrace,
It will not weep for love that dies away,
Of tender laden nights, or judgment day,
Indifferent, proud, no tear may mar its face.
And thus we parted then. The street’s chorale
Someone in passing pushed me. Opposite,
The fog suspended like a bridal veil.
From where, my heart, comes joy to celebrate?
Indeed, perhaps a tear there left its trail.
Translated by D ov Vardi
This sonnet has the typical elements of Leah Goldberg’s lucidity,
simplicity and sincerity of feeling. It also conveys her frequent
melancholy mood and her sensitiveness to the tragic times in which
we live. At the same time she voices hope instead of resignation,
though unbeknown “From where comes joy to celebrate? / Indeed,
perhaps a tear there left its trail.”
Another sonnet depicts the sad face of “departure” in the fol-
lowing lines: