Aba Shtoltsenberg (1905-1941)
Young Ukrainians

Irving Howe, Ruth R. Wisse and Khome Shmeruk (eds.): «The Penguin Book of Modern Yiddish Verse», Penguin Books, 1988. Copyright © Irving Howe, Ruth Wisse, and Chone Shmeruk, 1987. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

They unfold like a snake
and crawl on their belly.
Miles around haystacks flare,
homesteads go up in smoke.
Bloodied, and striking matches, they
crawl along the flat of the land,
down culverts and over Polish roads,
soaked and lice-eaten.
In the capital, aristocrats
set a price on their head.

(from the Yiddish by Dennis Silk)


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