After My Death
by Chaim Nachman Bialik
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch
Say this when you eulogize me:
Here was a man — now, ****, he's gone!
He died before his time.
The music of his life suddenly ground to a halt...
Such a pity! There was another song in him, somewhere,
but now it's been lost,
What a pity! He had a violin,
a living, eloquent soul
to which he uttered
the secrets of his heart,
setting its strings vibrating,
save the one he kept inviolate.
Back and forth his supple fingers twirled;
one string alone remained mesmerized,
Such a pity!
All his life the string quivered,
yearning for its song, its mate,
as a heart falters before its departure.
Despite constant delays it waited daily,
mutely beseeching its savior, Love,
who lingered, loitered, tarried incessantly
and never came.
Great was the pain!
There was a man — now, ****, he's gone!
The music of his life was suddenly interrupted.
There was another song in him, somewhere,
but now it is lost
Chaim Nachman Bialik (1873-1934), first name also Hayim or Haim, was a Jewish Holocaust poet who wrote in Hebrew. Bialik was one of the pioneers of modern Hebrew poetry; he came to be recognized as Israel's national poet and the foremost modern Hebrew poet.
Keywords/Tags: Chaim Nachman Bialik, Hebrew, translation, Israel, life, music, violin, song, string, strings, heart, mate, love, pain, lost, forever