Monday, August 10, 2009

Lost in Ertha

Continuing with my revisions towards a fair copy of The Song ov Elmallahz Kumming, Bouk 6, Gottesverdammerung: In the End ov Time, here is a scene as the nazi war machine overruns a Jewish village in Poland.

A few terms: “Shtettel” is the Yiddish word for “little town” or “village” from the German “stadt.” A “khussid” is a very pious Jew. The two deeply indented stanzas at the beginning of the poem reference an earlier scene in The Song ov Elmallahz Kumming (Levvel 1:1) and an earlier poem series (Elegies en Nance) with a related theme. You can view a slideshow of an illuminated version of Elegies en Nance on Here’s a direct link:

I Tryd Tu Rezist

                    I tryd tu rezist
                    But then loukt bak.
                    In the rizing Soel
                    Her feecherz touk shape...
                    – Levvel 1:1

Tuday I am nuthing but a shaddo
     And yu ar a Khussid praying,
     Yur boddee a tempel, engulft in fiyer.
                    Today I am nothing but a body
                    And You are a spirit escaping,
                    Rising out of a fire.
                    – Elegies en Nance

Torn frum the handz that wer kasting me.
     Like a potter hu haz throne a pot,
     Kast and spun and eezd it intu shaep,
     And az he lifts it frum the weel
     It slips and kollapsez at hiz feet...

So my God haz kast me frum my huzband.
     Skoopt me frum hiz klay pit,
     Spun me in Hiz Soel,
     Shaept me in Hiz handz;
     Dropt me and left me a shatterz,
           Wile my huzband iz bernd in a kiln.

My God iz kast me owt ov my shtettel:
     The shist we chizzeld tu pile owwer wawlz,
     The klay we pakt tu fase owwer huts,
     The mud that gusht intu owwer shuez;
     The rokkee feeldz that broke owwer plowz;
          That iz my bone, my tung, my hart.

But now a mashene rumbelz down streets,
     It krushez owwer gaets, owwer dorpoests, owwer hoemz,
     It bernz owwer feeldz, it swalloez wut is left.
     Wut du we hav ov valew tu steel?
          Areyanz hav trampeld on owwer saekred skroelz.

I ternd awway and then ternd bak.
     I koud see my streets; even pebbelz and puddelz,
          The krouked windoez and krankee widdoez.
          The Sabbath songz wer lilting on the aer;
     Ower praerz roze up, and fell bak, weeping.
          Now the howl ov Areyanz, rape and skreem.

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