I’ll Dress You in Silken Wings
Laugh lots, children,
Till the liberation of spring bursts
The sad Jewish autumn.
I’ll call your mother
My little angels
To return from wherever she’s gone
And she’ll reign with you
When she was the Queen.
And they’ll hear your laughter from afar
And you won’t be
You will not be
by Abraham Chalfi,
translated from the Hebrew by Atar Hadari
Image Source & Notes
Abraham Chalfi (1904–1980) was born in Lodz, Poland, and arrived in Israel in 1924 to work in agriculture, construction, and road building. He joined the worker’s theater, Ohel in 1925 and became a member of the Tel Aviv Cameri municipal theater in 1953. He published the first of several volumes of poetry in 1933. Many of his poems were set to music and became chart hits.
Atar Hadari’s Songs from Bialik: Selected Poems of Hayim Nahman Bialik (Syracuse University Press, 2000) was a finalist for the American Literary Translators’ Association Award. His Pen Translates award-winning “Lives of the Dead: Collected Poems of Hanoch Levin??? appeared in 2018 from Arc Publications.
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