Anna Margolin: Slender Ships (From Yiddish)

Best known in her time as a reporter, the Yiddish poet Anna Margolin, (born Rosa Lebensbaum, in Brest-Litovsk, in 1887) had a tempestuous youth that took her through Odessa, Warsaw, London, Paris and the Land of Israel/Palestine before she finally settled in New York at the age of 26.

Slender Ships
By Anna Margolin
Translated by A.Z. Foreman
Click to hear me recite the original in Yiddish

Slender ships drowse on over the swollen green water,
Black shadows sleep on the cold heart of the water.
All the winds are still.
Clouds like ghosts in the speechless night shift over and slip under.
Pale and tranquil, the earth awaits the lightning and the thunder.
I will be still.

The Original:

שלאַנקע שיפן
פון אַנאַ מאַרגאָלין

שלאנקע שיפן דרימלען אויפן געשוואָלן גרינעם וואַסער
שוואַרצע שאַטנס שלאָפן אויפן קאַלטן האַרץ פון וואַסער.
אַלע ווינטן זײַנן שטיל
כמאַרעס רוקן זיך געשפּענסטיק אין דער נאַכט דער שטומער.
בלייך און רויִק וואַרט די ערד אויף בליץ און דונער.
איך וועל זײַן שטיל.


  1. The audio is in German. Though, CONGRATULATIONS on the blog!

  2. Dumbass. It's in Yiddish, not German. "chmares" isn't even a germanic word, as far as I know.


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