Download American Yiddish Poetry: A Bilingual Anthology by Benjamin Harshav, Barbara Harshav PDF

By Benjamin Harshav, Barbara Harshav

Presents info at the Yiddish language and literature, describes poetic varieties, and gathers poems in Yiddish and English through seven of the easiest Jewish American poets.

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Extra info for American Yiddish Poetry: A Bilingual Anthology

Sample text

And when Máire, her first child, was born, she asked Miss Lynch to stand as godmother. Miss Lynch accepted. An honor for us, Mam says. When Miss Lynch started the free school for girls, Máire and I were in the first class. I was five and Máire seven, creeping up to the attic classroom in Barna House, afraid we’d meet the landlord. Ten of us came from the fisher cottages and ten from the farming townlands, scrubbed clean and ready for the learning. All of us were shy but Máire. She’d been cheeky enough to correct Miss Lynch and ask her to pronounce her name “Mah-ree”—the Irish way.

Then she’d stopped. Ah, spit it out, I’d thought. Say: Girls like Honora Keeley, too poor and too Irish. Not like you Lynches, who’ve bobbed and bribed your way through the centuries to stay rich and Catholic. I am a Keeley, an O’Cadhla, Mother Superior, I’d wanted to tell her. We ruled Connemara long before the Lynches and the rest of their Norman relatives set foot in Galway. My Granny Keeley says, “What are Normans anyway? ” But if I’d said anything at all like that, Mam would have collapsed on the spot.

Dabeoc’s heath), and fearbán (buttercups). I named them to myself in Irish but translated them into English as if reciting for Miss Lynch or Mother Superior. I pulled up my skirt, knelt on the soft grass, inhaled the lavender scent of the soap Miss Lynch gave Máire and me for Christmas, then undid the three hairpins—careful, mustn’t bend them. I leaned over, ducked my loosened hair into the water, and then lathered the soap into bubbles, digging my fingers into my scalp. “Rua and donn,” Mam called my hair.

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