May 012014
 

Yaakov Fichman was one of those guys who started out writing in Ashkenazi Hebrew and then switched to the new Israeli accent (Bialik also tried this and notably failed). Benjamin Harshav says this one is in the Israeli accent — I kind of like it better in Ashkenazis, which probably means Fichman was fighting with the voice of the Ashkenaziyah muse in his head just like Bialik was, but I won’t argue with Benjamin Harshav when it comes to questions of poetic form and style. Now, as far as translation goes, I will fucking fight him on the beaches. Him and his wife. Bring it, Hrushovsky.

Yaakov Fichman (1881 – 1958)
For the Day’s Ire Shall Slacken

It’s not sadness in sunset, the blaze of the ire
Of the day going slack, it’s softness and wonder;
It’s the last of the stones sinking deep in the gyre,
It’s the last of the weight now slow slipping under.

Each daylight-struck blossom shall listen, asway,
Its veins again flowing with song strong as thunder;
Each footfall’s soft echo, like songs far away,
And ev’ry man’s heart now for singing made stronger.

Now sing out, my heart! For the hour’s grown late,
Filled full of silence, whispers veiled lie in wait.
And the song ripe as fruit here forgotten now dwells; —

Like a wave, in the arms of a sun asleep — swells,
Plucked from its stone by the touch of the night,
To expanses eternal, ne’er known by day’s light.

יעקב פיכמן
כי ירף זעף יום

 
לֹא עֶצֶב הוּא בִּשְׁקֹעַ יוֹם וְלַהַט
זַעְפּוֹ יִרְפֶּה, כִּי רֹךְ וְתִמָּהוֹן;
זוֹ אֶבֶן אַחֲרוֹנָה בַּתְּהוֹם שׁוֹקַעַת,
זֶה אַט צוֹנֵחַ כֹּבֶד אַחֲרוֹן.
 
כָּל צִיץ נְגוּעַ־יוֹם יַקְשִׁיב בְּרַעַד
עוֹרְקָיו שׁוּב רְנָנָה זֹרְמָה וָאוֹן;
כְּשִׁיר בָּא מֵרָחוֹק אָז הֵד כָּל צַעַד,
וְלֵב אָדָם רַק אָז יִכְשָׁר לָרֹן.
 
רֹן, לְבָבִי! שָׁעָה זוֹ מְאֻחֶרֶת
מָלְאָה, עִם הַדְּמָמָה, הֶמְיָה נִסְתֶּרֶת.
הַשִׁיר בָּשֵׁל כִּפְרִי עַל בַּד נִשְׁכַּח; —
 
כְּגַל, בִּזְרוֹעוֹת שֶׁמֶשׁ נָם, — תָּפַח,
נִתְלַשׁ לְמַגַּע־עֶרֶב מִסַּלְעוֹ,
מוּל רַחַב־אֵל, אוֹר יוֹם לֹא יְדָעוֹ.
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Lo ʕétzev hu bishqóaʕ yom ve-láhat
Zaʕpó yirpéh, ki rokh ve-timahón;
Zo ‘éven ‘aḥaronáh bathóm shoqáʕat,
Zeh ‘at tzonéiaḥ kóved ‘aḥarón.

Kol tzitz negúaʕ yom yaqshív be-ráʕad
ʕorqáv shuv renanáh zormáh va-‘ón;
Ke-shír ba mei-raḥóq ‘az heid kol tzáʕad,
Ve-léiv ‘adám raq ‘az yikhshár la-rón.

Ron, levaví! Shaʕáh zo me’uḥéret
Mal’áh, ʕim ha-demamáh, hemyáh nistéret.
Ha-shír bashéil kifrí ʕal bad nishkáḥ; —

Ke-gál, bizroʕót shémesh nam — tafáḥ,
Nitlásh le-mágaʕ ʕérev mi-salʕó,
Mul ráḥav ‘eil, ‘or yom lo yedaʕó.

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