Page 181 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 47

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1 7 3
With shining thoughts
And longing eyes
He stretched
Like a child
Toward a land
Where skies are ever clear and blue
And palm trees are always green,
Where the sun shines over sand and shore
And f ig trees offer shade
Like carpets fo r resting wanderers.
Thus he lies
In the shade, stripped of the gray week
And unharnessed from the Exile’s yoke
And gazes.
He gazes at the work o f creation
And sees everything around him flourish and rise,
Grow and blossom . . .
(From “Der Tate, der Khoyveyv-Tsiyen”)
The poet’s mother was a quiet, gentle woman whose only failing
was an overdeveloped sense of justice which led to frequent
arguments between herself and a husband more devoted to
communal matters than to earning a livelihood for his six chil­
dren. The tension, conflict and bitterness of his childhood be­
came the source of the elegaic tone of much of Papiernikov’s
My home was the source of my sadness and sorrow,
The well that could not still my thirst,
The open prison whose gate I did not f ind
To leave the dark narrow walls.
Father, mother, one sister, f ive brothers
in all.
Each on his own, locked in his cell,
Sought a way out, confided in no one,
Took not a step beyond his own threshold.
Alienated, silent, each suffered alone,
Never turned to another fo r anything.
Thus we all grew
sawed off and cut off,
Eight heads often beating against eight walls.
(“Der Kval fun Mayn Umet”)
4. Cf. J. Papiernikov,
Heymishe un Noente,
Tel Aviv, 1958, p. 11-23.