Oct 032012
 

Nationalist movements and the minorities they inevitably create raise interesting ideological tensions. If one views Hebrew poetry through a Jewish lens, as the collective output of a peculiar people in their peculiar tongue, what is the place of a Hebrew-speaking Druze poet within it?

תנועות לאומיות והמיעוטים הנוצרים על ידן מעלים מתח אידאולוגי מעניין. אם רואים את השירה העברית דרך עדשה יהודית, כתוצרתו של עם ייחודי בשפתו הייחודית, מהו מקומו של משורר דרוזי דובר עברית בתולדותיה?
י

Naim Araidi (1950 – )
When I Was Little

When I was little
our house was too
and the cypress trees along the road
and the fig trees, and the hut in the vineyards
and everything around me –
except my father and mother, who were giants,
like the god and his spouse I imagined,
before sleep, before meaning to sin
every time I crossed the threshold of the darkened house.

I would measure everything by its accord
with my own desires and my father’s
and my mother’s hopes
and my grandmother’s prayer towards our southern window.

נעים עריידי / نعيم عرايدي
כשהייתי קטן

 
כְּשֶׁהָיִיתי קָטָן
בֵּיתֵנוּ הָיָה קָטָן
וְעֲצֵי הַבְּרוֹשִׁים שֶׁבַּדֶּרֶךְ
וְעֲצֵי הַתְּאֵנִים וְסֻכַּת הַגְּפָנִים
וְכָל הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁסְּבִיבִי –
פְּרָט לְאָבי וְאִמִּי שֶׁהָיוּ עֲנָקִים,
כְּמוֹ הָאֵל וְזוּגָתוֹ שֶׁאוֹתָם דִמִּיתִי,
לִפְנֵי הַשֵּׁנָה וְלִפנֵי הַכַּוָּנָה לַחֲטֹא
בְּכָל פַּעַם שֶׁנִּכְנַסְתִּי בְּסַף הַבַּיִת הֶחָשׁוּךְ.
 
הָיִיתי מוֹדֵד הַדְּבָרִים בְּמִדַּת הֵעָנוּתָם
לִרְצוֹנִי וּרְצוֹן אָבִי
וְתִקְוַת אִמִּי
וּתְפִלַת סָבָתִי לְעֵבֶר חַלּוֹנֵנוּ הַדְּרוֹמִי.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Keshé-hayíti katán
Beitéinu hayáh katán
Ve-ʕatzéi ha-beroshím she-ba-dérekh
Ve-ʕatzéi ha-te’einím ve-sukát ha-gefaním
Ve-khól ha-devarím she-seviví –
Prat le-‘aví ve-‘imí she-hayú ʕanakím,
Kemó ha-‘éil ve-zugató she-‘otám dimíti,
Lifnéi ha-sheináh ve-lifnéi ha-kavanáh laḥtó
Be-khól páʕam she-nikhnásti be-sáf ha-báyit he-ḥashúkh.

Hayíti modéid ha-devarím be-midát heiʕanutám
Lirtzoní u-ratzón ‘aví
Ve-tikvát ‘imí
U-tefilát savatí leʕéiver ḥalonéinu ha-dromí.

  One Response to “Naim Araidi, “Keshe-Hayiti Katan””

  1. “If one views Hebrew poetry through a Jewish lens, as the collective output of a peculiar people in their peculiar tongue, what is the place of a Hebrew-speaking Druze poet within it?”

    It’s probably really sad that I should find it gratifying to even see the question asked.

    I remember when Leon Wieseltier, in discussing his translation of some of Yehuda Amichai’s literary remains, asked rhetorically “Is it possible to be a great Hebrew poet and not be a great Jewish poet?” The assumption was that the answer was no. I found this a perfectly stupid implication, even beyond the matter of its falsity. It reminded me of some old English professors who had such difficulty taking Jewish literature in English seriously. Such assumptions belong in the 19th century with its preoccupation with romanticism and organicism. I could tell instantly which Hebrew poets he hadn’t been reading.

    Anyway, good on you.

    All power to mongrels!

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