Friday, August 18, 2006

Take Me Under Your Wings* (UPDATED)

Hachnisayni Tachat Knafayich (Hebrew)
by Chaim Nachman Bialik (translation by Richard Silverstein)
Take me under your wings,
Be mother and sister to me.
May your lap be a shelter for my head,
A nest for my desolate prayers.

At twilight, the time of compassion
Lean down and I will reveal to you a secret of my sorrows;
‘They say there is youth in the world…
Where is my Youth?’

Another mystery I will confess to you:
My soul is singed by flame;
‘They say there is love in the world–
Where is Love?’

The stars lied to me,
There was a dream–but it too is past;
Now I have nothing in the world–
Not a thing.

Take me under your wings,
Be mother and sister to me,
Be your lap a shelter for my head,
A nest for my desolate prayers.
This may just be the saddest poem I ever read, but it has been set to music and is an exceptionally beautiful Hebrew song - a classic. Most Israeli singers have recorded a version. If someone out there has a link to a clip, please let us know. My computer operator doesn't know how to do bilingual searches.

Thanks to Tamar's comment, I remembered that I own a CD by Rita. And sure enough, there is a track with her singing this song. I managed to get the file into my computer (in .M4A format), but now I am stuck: how can I share a "fair use" clip of it with all of you? Any technical advice?


Tamar said...

How I love this song. I think I have an old recorded version of it by Rita. But it is on a record ... not CD.

Thank you so much for reminding me of it.

Imshin said...

Excellent translation.

ppb said...

What haunting words.

Richard said...

You may have a problem since I believe you're using the iTunes file format. Normally, with an mp3 file you upload it to your blog's server & then link to the file within yr blog post. I've done that at my blog if you want to see how it's done.

But I don't believe that iTunes files can be shared that way. There are ways to convert mp4 files to mp3 files but I haven't done it in a while & don't rembmer how to do it.

Thanks for linking to my translation of the poem btw. It is sad, lovely & beautiful.

Savtadotty said...

Tamar - It turns out I have Rita's version and also Nehama Handel's. I would need better technical skills than I have now to be able to share them.

Richard - I am sadly ignorant about media file manipulations, but at least I do know a good translation when I read one!