Alexander Penn – Translation. Confession.

Translation by Linda Yechiel is Copyrighted. No part may be used for any reason whatsoever without express permission from the translator.

Hebrew poem can be viewed on Shironet here.

Confession

The bridge’s sole lamp lit my coat, very plain,

the cool autumn eve and my lips damp from rain –

that’s how you first saw me, do you recall?

And I knew from the first, just like night follows day

we were meant for each other in every which way,

and you’d come back to me like a boat in a squall.

We were bitterly poor and your rage burned inside,

and you cursed me with death not just once, not just twice,

but my shoulders, so cold, shook with joy and with bliss;

since I knew from the first, just like night follows day,

when they bring you – I caused it – all shackled in chains

even then, I would welcome you back with a kiss.

Yes, it was really not good, in fact, dreadful – not right,

but remember our meeting that one special night;

If it happens again don’t let anything change,

just the same special love, deprived and defiant,

with the same modest coat, with the same rose design,

with the same little dress that is simple and plain.

If it happens again don’t let anything change,

every detail should be just the same once again.

I was jealous of you and would lurk in the shadow

and my love was so great that if filled me with sorrow

and our house knew no laughter or glee.

You would come home at last, beaten down like a mongrel,

and vent out on me that they called you a scoundrel,

and I’d know that you’d thought then of me.

Then one night you took off, you just left me abruptly,

slammed out for good, though I carried your baby,

and my world turned dark, but my heart didn’t break;

Since it was clear to me like night follows day,

that you’d come back to me: for forgiveness you’d pray,

and I’d look into your eyes and would say:

Yes, it was really not good, in fact, dreadful – not right,

but it is was perfectly right that we met on that night;

If it happens again don’t let anything change,

just the same special love, deprived and defiant,

with the same modest coat, with the same rose design,

with the same little dress that is simple and plain.

If it happens again don’t let anything change,

every detail should be just the same once again.

I knew that for me love won’t come from another,

and I knew: by your hand, my own death I will suffer,

and I wait eagerly for my due.

It might come all at once, like an ax or an arrow,

or creep over me slowly with torture and sorrow,

but not from a stranger – from you.

Then I’ll come to your house, when you’re lonely and damned,

I’ll return in a dream, precious fool that I am,

and will say: I am here, can’t you see?

Since it was clear to me always, like night follows day,

that while you are sleeping I’d show you the way,

until you have come back to me.

Yes, it was really not good, in fact, dreadful – not right,

But my witness is God who has ordained my fate:

If it happens again don’t let anything change,

just the same special love, deprived and defiant,

with the same modest coat, with the same rose design,

with the same little dress that is simple and plain.

If it happens again don’t let anything change,

every detail should be just the same once again.

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Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Twisted Canary.

*** A creative writing assignment. A combination of two classes that I took: American Drama and Contemporary Literary theory. In the former, we discussed the play, A Jury of Her Peers by Susan Glaspell. In the latter, we discussed various literary theories using the writings of Conan-Doyle as a point of departure. So I started to think: how would have Conan-Doyle dealt with the story told by Glaspell. (The footnotes indicate actual quotes from SH stories.)

dead canary

Read it all here: The Adventure of the Twisted Canary