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Candles of Song: Yiddish Poems about Mothers Rajzel Zychlinksy

Mama

Mama,
You made fire.
Thin sticks of wood
You fanned into a sun.
You hear my hair rustling a thank-you.
Thank-you.
But outside the wind is still wailing.
Take the wind, mother, into your apron,
And rock him to sleep.
The wind will trust you,
And like a little lamb,
Will close his eyes.
Tr. Sheva  Zucker

Mame

Mame,
Du host fayer gemakht.
Host fun dare shtiklekh holts
Tseblozn a zun.
Du herst vi mayne hor shoybern a dank,
A dank.
Nor in droysn veynt nokh alts der vint.
Nem im, mame, in dayn shirts arayn,
Un vig im ayn.
Der vint, er vet dir gloybn,
Un vi a shepskl,
Tsumakhn di oygn.
Shvaygndike tirn, 1962

  מאַמע
,מאַמע
.דו האָסט פֿײַער געמאַכט
האָסט פֿון דאַרע שטיקלעך האָלץ
.צעבלאָזן אַ זון
,דו הערסט ווי מײַנע האָר שויבערן אַ דאַנק
.אַ דאַנק
.נאָר אין דרויסן וויינט נאָך אַלץ דער ווינט
,נעם אים, מאַמע, אין דײַן שירץ אַרײַן
.און וויג אים אײַן
,דער ווינט, ער וועט דיר גלויבן
,און ווי אַ שעפּסל
.צומאַכן די אויגן
שווײַגנדיקע טירן, 1962

Poems cross-posted with ShevaZucker.com.

Dr. Sheva Zucker is currently the Executive Director of the League for Yiddish and the editor of its magazine Afn Shvel. She has taught and lectured on Yiddish language, literature and culture on five continents.