DER YIDDISH-VINKL June 17, 2005

A WEEKLY BRIEFING ON THE MOTHER TONGUE

Published June 17, 2005, issue of June 17, 2005.

Once again Joan Braman graces Der Vinkl with her elegant and eloquent translation of great English classics into Yiddish. This time the poem is William Blake’s…

The Tiger

Tiger, tiger burning bright

In the forests of the night

What immortal hand or eye

Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies

Burnt the fire of thine eyes?

On what wings dare he aspire?

What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art

Could twist the sinews of thy heart?

And when thy heart began to beat,

What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? What the chain?

In what furnace was thy brain?

What the anvil? What dread grasp

Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears

And watered heaven with their tears

Did He smile his work to see?

Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, tiger, burning bright

In the forests of the night

What immortal hand or eye

Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Yiddish Version

Tiger, tiger, ful mit prakht

Shaynst in tifn vald bay nakht;

Nit fun mentshn-hant geshmit

Dayne shoyderlekhe glider.

Vu in vayter velt, du goylem

Flamen dayne oygn di koyln?

Ver vet in hoykhn himl shtrebn?

Ver vet mit hent di fayer nemen?

Mit velkhn hamer, velkher kraft

Oysgekovlt hot men dayn harts?

Un ven dos harts m’hot gefilt mit blut

Mit velkher makht, mit velkhn mut?

Mit velkhn hamer, mit velkhn koyekh?

In velkhn oyvn gefuremt dem moyekh?

Ver hot in fayer dem shtol geknotn?

Oyf vemens bafel, vemens barotn?

Ven fun di shtern veln faln shpizn,

Un ven fun himl veln trern gisn,

Vet er kveln fun dayn geshtalt?

Hot er oykh dem lom gemakht?

Tiger, tiger, ful mit prakht

Shaynst in tifn vald bay nakht.

Nit fun mentshn-hant geshmit,

Dayne shoyderlekhe glider.



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