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In The City Of Slaughter (Excerpt)
(9 January 1873 – 4 July 1934 / Radi, Volhynia)

In The City Of Slaughter (Excerpt)

Poem By Hayyim Nahman Bialik

Proceed thence to the ruins, the split walls reach,
Where wider grows the hollow, and greater grows the breach;
Pass over the shattered hearth, attain the broken wall
Whose burnt and barren brick, whose charred stones reveal
The open mouths of such wounds, that no mending
Shall ever mend, nor healing ever heal…

Terror floating near the rafters, terror
Against the walls in darkness hiding,
Terror through the silence sliding.
Didst thou not hear beneath the heap of wheels
A stirring of crushed limbs?

Much suffering and tribulation–tried
Which in this house of bondage binds itself.
It will not ever from its pain be pried.
Brief-weary and forespent, a dark Shekhinah
Runs to each nook and cannot find its rest;
Wishes to weep, but weeping does not come;
Would roar; is dumb….

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Comments (3)

" Open mouths of such wounds, that no mending Shall ever mend, nor healing ever heal" A superb expression, profound in simple language.
Brief-weary and forespent, a dark Shekhinah Runs to each nook and cannot find its rest; Wishes to weep, but weeping does not come; Would roar; is dumb…. weeping does not come although......... very fine poem. tony
Terrible translation. Bialik’s Hebrew is simultaneously simpler, more biblical, and much more brutal. No hiding in language.


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