Nov 042012
 

I like this guy, we should hang out. You may notice that I’ve gone “colloquial” in my translation. I think it’s justified, but if you don’t, then as I’ve said before, feel free to check out the other Hebrew poetry in parallel translation blogs (that vowel all their texts). Go on. I’ll be here, heart in the east, at the end of the west, just like always.

Avraham ibn Ezra (1089 – 1167)
The Stars of the Zodiac

The stars of the zodiac bent out of place
As they wheeled o’er the place of my birth —
If my trade were in candles, then ’til I was dead
The sun would shine down on the earth.

I strive to succeed, and yet always I fail,
For I’m screwed by the stars of my sky —
If I were a seller of burial shrouds
All my days, not a person would die!

אברהם אבן עזרא / إبراهيم ابن عزرا
גלגל ומזלות במעמדם

 
גַּלְגַּל וּמַזָּלוֹת בְּמַעְמָדָם
נָטוּ בְּמַהְלָכָם לְמוֹלַדְתִּי;
לוּ יִהְיוּ נֵרוֹת סְחוֹרָתִי –
לֹא-יֶחֱשַׁךְ שֶׁמֶשׁ עֲדֵי מוֹתִי!
 
אִיגַע לְהַצְלִיחַ וְלֹא-אוּכַל,
כִּי עִוְּתוּנִי כּוֹכְבֵי שָׁמָי;
לוּ אֶהֱיֶה סֹחֵר בְּתַכְרִיכִין –
לֹא יִגְוְעוּן אִישִׁים בְּכָל יָמָי!
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Galgál u-mazalót be-maʕmadám
Natú be-mahelakhám le-moladetí
Lu yiheyú neirót seḥoratí —
Lo yeḥeshákh shémesh ʕadéi motí!
‘Igáʕ lehatzlíaḥ ve-ló ‘ukhál,
Ki ʕivtúni kokhevéi shamái;
Lu ‘eheyéh soḥéir be-takhrikhín —
Lo yigveʕún ‘ishím be-khól yamái!

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