JHOM - Tishrei -Loyal Sins by Glatstein

LOYAL SINS by Yaakov Glatstein

Jacob (Yankele) Glatstein (1896-1971) was one of the leading lights of Yiddish literature in America. Born in Lublin, Poland, he emigrated to New York in 1914, where he affiliated with a modern literary movement (In Sich) that rejected the traditional forms of Yiddish poetry. Like Walt Whitman's poetry which he greatly admired, Glatstein's poetry -- with its free verse and surrealistic symbolism -- had an ''American rhythm."

Glatstein was also a prolific publicist, journalist, literary critic and editor.

In Loyal Sins, Glatstein examines the issue of assumption of collective guilt and collective responsibility.

From Yom Kippur Shacharit (morning) prayer, Mahzor manuscript
Scribe: David bar Pesah
Germany, 14th century


My loyal sins,
I've never really committed you
and never even done you
as one does good deeds.

I've mumbled you off dutifully,
you never even penetrated me,
teased me to the bone
like good deeds that
flap in the memory
like a fine apt proverb.

Blessings on your dear eyes
that have good-deeded me
pieces of raw life, pieces of grass
where I now rest my head
and dream sharp dreams.

You're my fate.
My blessing.


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