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כתוב בעפרון בקרון החתום / דן פגיס

כאן במשלוח הזה
אני חוה
עם הבל בני
אם תראו את בני הגדול
קין בן אדם
תגידו לו שאני
 
"Written in Pencil in the Sealed Railway-Car"
Dan Pagis

here in this carload
i am eve
with abel my son
if you see my other son
cain son of man
tell him that i

translated from the Hebrew by Stephen Mitchell
 

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Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
alzzers
Feb. 3rd, 2009 11:55 pm (UTC)
ugh, brutal.

Is the title an accurate description of how it was found?
arctic_alpine
Feb. 4th, 2009 12:14 am (UTC)
i believe it is a fictional poem.
exceptindreams
Feb. 4th, 2009 12:31 am (UTC)
You are correct. However, the author did spend three years of his early adolescence in a concentration camp.
arctic_alpine
Feb. 4th, 2009 12:16 am (UTC)
also, a few notes on the hebrew:
-lines 3 and 6 rhyme in hebrew, giving that fractured last line a partial sense of completeness.
-"Cain, son of man" is a play on words- can literally be translated as "Cain, son of Adam," and "Cain, the human being."
exceptindreams
Feb. 4th, 2009 12:31 am (UTC)
Thank you!
alzzers
Feb. 4th, 2009 12:34 am (UTC)
I wish I remembered my Hebrew from school :o\ I'd enjoy this so much if I could read the original!
amadareneko
Feb. 4th, 2009 01:10 am (UTC)
I second K's thanks! I love learning things about poems that I would otherwise miss by not reading them in the original
etherealizabeth
Feb. 4th, 2009 01:39 am (UTC)
I think it's also worth mentioning that "Son of Man" is how Christ frequently refered to Himself. Obviously, Dan Pagis is a Jew - which I can appreciate, being one myself - so the irony is amusing.
arctic_alpine
Feb. 4th, 2009 02:31 am (UTC)
son of man is common usage in the hebrew prophet books, as well
star_flare
Feb. 4th, 2009 04:23 am (UTC)
Ooh. Thanks for the input~
mushroom18
Feb. 4th, 2009 12:39 am (UTC)
The title makes it even more poignant. :)
stormye
Feb. 4th, 2009 01:19 am (UTC)
I want to know what she would say to Cain. Although I love it like this, as I can fill in the blanks myself.

Still.
eranim
Feb. 4th, 2009 02:16 am (UTC)
What a punch in the heart.
zigsternenstaub
Feb. 4th, 2009 03:12 am (UTC)
Chilling.
kaijubaka
Feb. 4th, 2009 08:11 am (UTC)
the original "O SHI-" post.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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