Uit: Jerusalem the Golden
The Hebrew of
The Hebrew of your poets, Zion,
is like oil upon a burn,
cool as oil;
the smell in the street at night
of the hedge in flower.
I have married and married the speech of strangers;
none are like you, Shulamite.
As I, barbarian, at last, although slowly, could read Greek,
at “blue-eyed Athena”
I greeted her picture that had long been on the wall:
the head slightly bent forward under the heavy helmet,
as if to listen; the beautiful lips slightly scornful.
The moon shines
The moon shines in the summer night;
now I begin to understand the Hebrews
who could forget the Lord, throw kisses at the moon,
until the archers came against Israel
and bronze chariots from the north
rolled into the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem.
What then must happen, you Jeremiahs,
to me who look at moon and stars and trees?
Charles Reznikoff (30 augustus 1894 – 22 januari 1976)