The opening poem of Poland/1931 has been translated into a number of languages, in some of which I’ve been able to read or perform during various travels. The availability of Poems and Poetics gives me a chance to bring a few of these translations together – in the present instance, from Spanish, from French, & most particularly from Yiddish. Others – from Polish, German, Swedish, Chinese, & Dutch – may follow in the near future. Performances in English and Yiddish can be found on PennSound at http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Rothenberg.html. (J.R.)

POLAND/1931
“The Wedding”

my mind is stuffed with tablecloths
& with rings but my mind
is dreaming of poland stuffed with poland
brought in the imagination
to a black wedding
a naked bridegroom hovering above
his naked bride mad poland
how terrible thy jews at weddings
thy synagogues with camphor smells & almonds
thy thermos bottles thy electric fogs
thy braided armpits
thy underwear alive with roots o poland
poland poland poland poland poland
how thy bells wrapped in their flowers toll
how they do offer up their tongues to kiss the moon
old moon old mother stuck in thy sky thyself
an old bell with no tongue a lost udder
o poland thy beer is ever made of rotting bread
thy silks are linens merely thy tradesmen
dance at weddings where fanatic grooms
still dream of bridesmaids still are screaming
past their red moustaches poland
we have lain awake in thy soft arms forever
thy feathers have been balm to us
thy pillows capture us like sickly wombs & guard us
let us sail through thy fierce weddings poland
let us tread thy markets where thy sausages grow ripe & full
let us bite thy peppercorns let thy oxen's dung be sugar to thy dying jews
o poland o sweet resourceful restless poland
o poland of the saints unbuttoned poland repeating endlessly
the triple names of mary
poland poland poland poland poland
have we not tired of thee poland no for thy cheeses
shall never tire us nor the honey of thy goats
thy grooms shall work ferociously upon their looming brides
shall bring forth executioners
shall stand like kings inside thy doorways
shall throw their arms around thy lintels poland
& begin to crow

POLONIA/1931
“La Boda”

mi mente está retacada de servilletas
y de anillos pero mi mente
sueña con polonia retacada de polonia
en la imaginación trayendo
a una boda negra
un novio desnudo que sobrevuela
a su novia encuerada loca polonia
qué terribles tus judíos en las bodas
tus sinagogas con aromas de alcanfor y almendras
tus termos tus eléctricas neblinas
tus manos metidas en los sóbacos
tus calzones vivos y enraizados oh polonia
polonia polonia polonia polonia polonia
la manera en que repican las campanas de tus flores
la manera en que se elevan sus lenguas ofreciéndose besar a la luna
vieja luna vieja madre clavada nada menos que en tu mismísimo cielo
una vieja campana sin lengua una ubre perdida
oh polonia tu cerveza es siempre hecha con pan pudriente
tus sedas son apenas lino tus comerciantes
bailan en las bodas en las que fanáticos novios
todavía sueñan con las damas de la novia todavía gritan
desde sus mostachones rojos polonia
siempre nos hemos despertado en tus suaves brazos
tus plumas han sido nuestro bálsamo
tus almohadas nos capturan como vientres enfermizos y nos.cuidan
déjanos atravesar tus fieras bodas polonia
déjanos caminar tus mercados donde las salchichas están maduras y regordetas
déjanos morder tus granos de pimientón deja que la cagada de tus bueyes sea azúcar para tus judíos moribundos
oh polonia oh polonia dulce habilidosa y sin descanso
oh polonia de los santos desabotonada polonia repitiendo
interminablemente los triples nombres de maría
polonia polonia polonia polonia polonia
no nos hemos cansado de ti polonia pues tus quesos
nunca nos cansarán ni el nectar de tus cabras
tus novios trabajarán empeñosamente sobre sus aparecidas novias
traerán verdugos
se pararán como reyes en tus portales
arrojarán sus brazos alrededor de tus dinteles polonia
y comenzarán a cacarear

[Translated into Spanish by Heriberto Yépez]

POLOGNE/1931
“La Noce”

ma tête est bourrée de serviettes
et de baues mais ma tête
rêve de la pologne est bourrée de pologne
conduite en imagination
à une noce noire
le marié tout nu plane au-dessus
de la mariée nue pologne folle
terribles sont tes juifs pendant les noces
tes synagogues sentent le camphre et les amandes
tes bouteilles thermos tes brouillards électriques
les tresses de tes aissellles
tes dessous de racines vivantes o pologne
pologne pologne pologne pologne pologne
comme tes cloches enveloppées de fleurs sonnent
elles offrent leur langue pour embrasser la lune
vieille lune vieille mère collée au ciel toi-même
vieille cloche san langue tétine perdue
o pologne ta bière pour toujours sera faite de pain pourrissant
tes vêtements de soie ne sont que toiles tes marchands
dancent aux noces où les mariés fanatiques
rêvent encore aux demoiselles d’honneur continuent à crier
à travers leurs moustaches rousses pologne
nous sommes restés éveillés dans tes bras toujours
tes plumes ont été un baume pour nous
tes oreillers nous capturent ventres maladifs ils nous protègent
voguons à travers tes noces féroces pologne
piétinons tes marchés où tes saucisses murissent pleines
mordons tes grains de poivre que tes bouses soient du sucre pour tes juifs mourants
o pologne o douce pologne pleine d’agitation et de ressources
o pologne de tous les saints déboutonnée pologne répétant sans fin les triples noms de marie
pologne pologne pologne pologne pologne
sommes-nous fatigués de toi pologne non puisque tes fromages
ne nous lasseront jamais ni le miel de tes chèvres
puisque tes mariés ne cesseront jamais de travailler férocement les mariées vagues
ils feront venir les exécuteurs
ils se tiendront comme des rois dan l’encadrement de tes portes
et embrassant tes linteaux de leurs bras pologne
se mettront à chanter

[Translated into French by Jacques Roubaud]

POYLN/1931
“Di Khaseneh”

mayn miyakh iz ongeshtopt mit tishtekher
un mit fingerlekh ober mayn miyakh
kholemt fun poyln ongeshtopt mit poyln
in dimiyen gebrakht
tsu a shvartseh khaseneh
a naketer khosn shvebt iber
zayn naketeh kaleh metirifdikeh poyln
vi shreklekh dayneh yidn oyf khasenehs
dayneh shulen mit kamfer reykhehs un mandlen
dayneh termosen dayneh elektrishe tumanen
dayneh untervesh lebedik mit vurtseln oy poyln
poyln poyln poyln poyln poyln
vi dayneh glocken ayngevikelt mit blumen klingen
vi zey offenen zeyreh tsungen tsu kushen di levoneh
alteh levoneh alteh mameh gebliben shteken in dayn himel du aleyn
an alte glock on ah tsung ah farloyrener eyter
oy poyln dayn bier iz tomid gemakht fun farfoylteh broyt
dayneh zayden iz layvent bloiz dayneh sokherim
tantsen oyf khasenehs vu khasonim kanoyim
fantazieren nokh veygen kalehs shrayendik nokh
durkh zeyereh royteh vontsehs poyln
mir zaynen gebliben vakh in dayneh veykheh arems oyf eybik
dayneh federen zaynen geven far unz balzam
dayneh kishns fangen unz vi krenklikheh trakhten un hiten unz
lomir durkhzegeln dayneh vildeh khasenehs poyln
lomir treten dayneh merkten vu dayneh vurshten vaksen rayf un ful
lomir baysen dayneh feferkorns zol dayn oksenmist zayn tsuker far dayneh gosysesdike yidn
oy poyln oy ziseh umtsukhedikeh unruikeh poyln
oy poyln fun di heylikeh unknepeldikeh poyln iberkhazendik on oyfher di drayikeh nemen fun mariya
poyln poyln poyln poyln poyln
zaynen mir nit mid gevoren fun dir poyln neyn vayl dayneh keyzen
velen unz keynmol nit mid makhen un nit di honik fun dayneh tsigen
dayneh khosens velen arbeten umtsukhedik iber zeyereh shvebedikeh kalehs
velen kindlen mit henker
velen shtenden vi kenigen in dayneh tiren
velen arumnemen dayneh bayshtidlekh poyln
un onheyben kreyen

[Translated into Yiddish by Amos Schauss with transliteration into Roman letters by Jerome Rothenberg] Schauss]

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