Page 65 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 29

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59
I
vry
—L
eah
G
oldberg
fact as coolly and as “objectively” as her pen can put it on paper
in “objective” poetic form:
Nothing remained of my home of old
But the memory of a dim lodging.
Poet of Jewish Sadness
Like Baudelaire in a disintegrating world which went up in
flames, the poet of Jewish sadness continued to cling to the classi-
cal forms like a “parapet fencing her off from the abyss.” But the
poet cannot but doubt the very sense of continued existence. And
she asks simply and openly:
Will days yet come of forgiveness and grace,
When you will walk in the field like a simple-hearted
wanderer. . . .
And simple will be all things and alive, and you may
touch them,
And you may, you may love?
You will walk in the field all alone, not scorched by the
heat of the conflagrations,
On roads that bristled with horror and blood,
And in purity of heart you will again be meek and submissive,
As a blade of grass, as merely a man.
Translated by Gabriel Preil
Yet, the poet does not really believe that life and humanity will
ever be the same again, nor can she forget “how the trains went”—
“how the trains departed [for the crematoria] never to return.”
She says:
How the trains went! The hum, unceasing,
of tracks longing in the memory of homelands,
a splashing of waters, and swords clashing.
There were lonely eyes, touching the night,
of travellers being carried any-somewhere.
Shades of branches, fears and electric light,
and pale fingers touching blackness,
and from a remembering, attentive voice they learn
about a son, a house overlooking a garden. . .
How the trains departed never to return.
From “On the F lowering’
Translated by Sholom J. Kahn