Oct 262016
 

Ḥayim Naḥman Bialik (1873 – 1934)
Upon My Return

There once more: an old man wasted,
Withered, wrinkled face decaying,
Trembling leaf-like, dry straw’s shadow,
Wand’ring over books, still swaying.

There once more: a woman wasted,
Sewing, stitching every stocking,
Mouth still filled with oaths and curses,
Lips forever moving, mocking.

And as ever, never stirring,
By the stove the housecat’s dozing,
Wrapped in reveries, dreaming notions,
Treaties with the mice proposing.

And as ever, in the darkness
Of the corner, ever wider,
Filled with turgid housefly corpses,
Stretch the weavings of the spider…

You’re the same, old age still aging,
Never novel, change-defying;
I shall come and live among you —
Rot beside you, putrefying!

חיים נחמן ביאליק
בתשובתי


שׁוּב לְפָנַי: זָקֵן בָּלֶה,
פָּנִים צֹמְקִים וּמְצֹרָרִים,
צֵל קַשׁ יָבֵשׁ, נָד כְּעָלֶה,
נָד וָנָע עַל-גַּבֵּי סְפָרִים.

שׁוּב לְפָנַי: זְקֵנָה בָלָה,
אֹרְגָה, סֹרְגָה פֻזְמְקָאוֹת,
פִּיהָ מָלֵא אָלָה, קְלָלָה,
וּשְׂפָתֶיהָ תָּמִיד נָעוֹת.

וּכְמֵאָז לֹא מָשׁ מִמְּקוֹמוֹ
חֲתוּל בֵּיתֵנוּ – עוֹדוֹ הֹזֶה
בֵּין כִּירַיִם, וּבַחֲלוֹמוֹ
עִם-עַכְבָּרִים יַעַשׂ חֹזֶה.

וּכְמֵאָז בָּאֹפֶל מְתוּחִים
קוּרֵי אֶרֶג הָעַכָּבִישׁ
מְלֵאֵי פִּגְרֵי זְבוּבִים נְפוּחִים
שָׁם בַּזָּוִית הַמַּעֲרָבִית…

לֹא שֻׁנֵּיתֶם מִקַּדְמַתְכֶם,
יָשָׁן נוֹשָׁן, אֵין חֲדָשָׁה; –
אבֹא, אַחַי, בְּחֶבְרַתְכֶם!
יַחְדָּו נִרְקַב עַד-נִבְאָשָׁה!
י

  3 Responses to “Ḥayim Naḥman Bialik, “Bi-Tshuvati””

  1. Nice job.

  2. I see you haven’t added a transcription. Allow me

    šuv lefónay: zókeyn bóle
    Pónim tsóymkim umtsoyrórim,
    tseyl kaš yóveyš nod keóle
    nod vono al gábey sfórim.

    šuv lefónay: zkéyno bólo,
    Oyrgo, soyrgo puzmekóoys
    Pího móley ólo, klólo,
    Usfoséyho tómid nóoys

    Uxmeyóz loy moš mimkóymoy
    xsul beyséynu óydoy hóyze
    ben kiráyim, uvaxlóymoy
    im axbórim yáas xóyze.

    Uxmeyóz boóyfel msúxim
    kúrey éreg hoakóviš
    mléyey pígrey zvúvim nfúxim
    šom bazóvis hamaróvis…

  3. Here though is how bialik himself would probably have pronounced it

    Suv lefonay zokeyn bole
    Ponim tseymkim umtseyrorim
    Tsel kas yoves, nod keole,
    Nod vono al gabe sforim.

    Suv lefonay zkeyno bolo,
    eyrgo, seyrgo puzmakoes,
    Piyo mole olo, klolo,
    Usfoseyo tomid noes.

    Ukhmeyoz ley mos mimkeymey
    Xsul beyseynu – eydey heyze,
    Beyn kirayim, uvoxleymey
    Im axborim yaas xeyze.

    Ukhmeyoz boeyfel msuxim
    Kure ereg hookovis.
    Mleye pigre zvuvim nfuxim
    Som bazovis hamarovis…

    Ley suneysem mikadmasxem,
    Yoson noson, eyn xadoso;
    Ovey, axay, be-xevrasxem!
    Yaxdov nirkav ad nivoso.

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