May 102013

If you hadn’t already noticed, I’ve set out a shingle and opened up a shop for custom Hebrew calligraphy. That means any poem on this whole site (in the public domain) that you like (or anything else, really) can be turned into a frame-ready piece of calligraphy suitable for accenting any room or office, or pawning off on any friend or relative you can’t think of a more practical gift for.

And though I passionately despise Facebook and all its works and all its pomps, my legal counsel insisted – quite forcefully, and repeatedly, and without consideration of my delicate poet’s feelings (“Dude, I love you, but you’re an idiot”) – that I create a Facebook page for this site’s poetry and calligraphy. Apparently it’s all about getting the eyeballs. Or the clicks. Or the likes. Or the whatevers. I am wary at best of all this online social media marketing absurdity (despite having done it for a living back when it was slightly less batshit insane). But if it’s not out of your way, please like Soul and Gone’s Facebook page, or direct your friends to it, or however it actually works (I am not entirely sure, honestly). Tell your Bible-thumping Christian friends I do Bible verses (although please also note to them that things like “love is patient, love is kind” and “for God so loved the world” were actually originally written in Greek; this has been a recurring problem for me).

I will continue translating Hebrew poetry into English on the regular for absolutely free, of course. That is Soul and Gone’s mission statement, such as it is. But if you’ve got Hebrew calligraphy needs, keep a brother in mind. I need a new lightbox, and wine isn’t free.


P.S. This just happens to be this blog’s 300th post! It’s gotta be mazldik!

May 102013

Has it really been almost a month since our last Vogel? Impossible. Neruda, you silver-tongued devil.

David Vogel (1891 – 1944)
Tell Me, Girl

Tell me, girl,
why don’t you go out with your friends
towards the hill,
to watch the setting sun in silence?

True, the day’s already ebbed
trembling restrained recoils from the world.

Slow despair sinks rosy-hued inside each heart.

Why sit so dim
upon the window
your eye treading down the bridge?

דוד פוגל
אמרי לי, עלמה

אִמְרִי לִי, עַלְמָה,
לָמָּה לֹא תֵצְאִי עִם רַעֲיוֹתַיִךְ
אֶל הַגִּבְעָה,
לִרְאוֹת דּוּמָם בַּהֲלוֹךְ הַשָּׁמֶשׁ?

הֵן כְּבָר רַד הַיּוֹם
רְעָדָה נֶעֱצֶרֶת סוֹלְדָה בַתֵּבֵל.

יָגוֹן וָרֹד אַט יִשְׁקַע בַּלְּבָבוֹת.

לָמָּה תֵשְׁבִי כֵהָה
עַל הַחַלּוֹן
וְעֵינֵךְ תָּרָד אֶת הַגָּשֶׁר?


‘Imrí li, ʕalmáh,
lámah lo teitz’í ʕim raʕayotáyikh
‘el ha givʕáh,
lir’ót dumám ba-halókh ha-shámesh?

Hein kevár rad ha-yóm
Reʕadáh neʕetzéret soldáh va-teivéil.

Yagón varód ‘at yishkáʕ ba-levavót.

Lámah teishví kheiháh
ʕal ha-ḥalón
ve-ʕeinéikh tarád ‘et ha-gásher?