Page 74 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 48

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
And your town’s church
Is floating on the sea.
Goldberg indicates tha t it is nostalgia with which she is con­
cerned, by the p ronoun in the last stanza, “you r” back, “you r”
head, “you r” town’s church, which creates a suggestive and p e r ­
sonal picture for h e r fellow European em igrants in Palestine.
NOSTALGIC MEMORIES
The memories elicited in the cycle are predom inantly urban ,
beginning with the “great cities” and “chu rch” in
Tel Aviv 1935.
Yet even in this focused urbanism , g rea ter earnestness is re ­
served for the contrasts o f climate: “the
hamsin
day,” “pu re win­
ter nights and rainy summer nights across the sea,” “dull m o rn ­
ings,” and the final image which synthesizes the past and presen t
landscapes: “And your town’s church/ is floating on the sea.”
In he r sonnet,
Oren
(Pine tree), Goldberg expresses the dilemma
o f dual homelands by re fe rr ing exclusively to landscape and
reverting to classical pastoral imagery:
Here I won’t hear the cuckoo’s song,
Here the tree won’t wear a turban o f snow,
Yet in the shade of these pines
My entire childhood comes to life.
The sound o f needles: once long ago . . .
I ’ll call birthplace the vistas of snow,
Greenish ice binding the stream,
The langauge o f song in a strange land.
Perhaps only migrating birds know
Suspended between earth and sky
This pain o f two homelands.
With you I was planted twice,
With you, pine trees, I grew,
With my roots in two different landscapes.15
Again, childhood is the focus o f recollection, and the child’s
identification with the natura l env ironm en t romantically ele­
vated by memory. Ju s t as the p resen t in Palestine/Israel is fre ­
quently symbolized by the poets by dryness and
hamsin,
so the
15. Goldberg, Leah,
Yalkut Shirim.
Yahdav Publishers, 1971, p. 60.