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And This Is the Ballad of My Life

Abraham Sutzkever 1913 (Belarus) – 2010 (Tel Aviv)

And this is the ballad of my life: dipping bread
in salt at a banquet for my unseen guests from afar.
And when they are hailed on by clod of earth after clod of earth,
to meet them between long tree-lined streets once more.

And this is the ballad of my life: that I mumble
strange syllables before the people of silence.
And they, the unseen and heirs of the mists,
fill my living anxiety and contemplations.

And this is the ballad of my life: to be a witness that those
who lashed me with thongs just a moment ago and set
children on fire and cremated them with their grandfathers,
these same people should send off a swarm of diamonds.

A day at the conclusion of days approaches through tears,
the way a blooming cherry tree approaches at the end of night.
And this is the ballad of my life: to hear my critic–
the roaring oracular voice of forever.
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Submitted by acronimous on January 31, 2021

48 sec read
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Abraham Sutzkever

Abraham Sutzkever was an acclaimed Yiddish poet. The New York Times wrote that Sutzkever was "the greatest poet of the Holocaust." more…

All Abraham Sutzkever poems | Abraham Sutzkever Books

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