Page 98 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 45

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The faithful moment of the night
Responds: yes, yes.
In astonishment I call to my words:
Return from your places.
Return, return
My precious ones.
Help me give silent voice to the joy
Of standing on the soil on which Isaiah stood.
(Af Dayn Erd, Yerusholayim)
Leivick differed from the
also because of the mystical
bent of much of his writing. He always had a deep concern with
what he termed the “other side of things.” He was preoccupied
with the meaning and destiny of reality and often transported
himself poetically into the past or the future.
I see now that everything happening today
Is less than the dust of the road.
The poet’s demon wails within me
And I fa ll to the other side of things.
(Af Yener Zayt fun Zakhn)
Leivick’s lyrical poems combine emotional expression and per­
sonal impression with a revealing and interpretative reflection.
The reflection is in fact the point of the poem because Leivick was
never an indifferent spectator of life, observing and satisfying
himself merely with the formulation of the visible. To Leivick, liv­
ing meant experiencing affectively and cognitively, and experi­
ence always involved the quest for meaning. He never sought to
mask experience or delude himself by posing solutions to the dif­
ficult problems of human experience. Instead, he was “the great
protester, the stubborn questioner tearing veils from the face of
reality. . . . Since he did not pretend that he knew the answers or
had ready-made solutions, he sometimes sought escape from
reality in the abstract, the ideal, the desirable.”10
10 K. A. Bertini, “Aharit-Davar,” in H. Leivick,
AI Tehomot Holekh Veshar,
Aviv, 1977, p. 88.