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from the September 2016 issue

Sing Ladino

Yankev Glatshteyn mines the richness of Yiddish, pushing its limits. 

Sing Ladino, you blond songer,
Our magicjargonino,
Multicolored chattering,
Multitongued languageing
Sundownino, nino-nino,
Finegolden radiating, bursting—
Multicoloredthoughtingness.
All the breads, all the deaths,
All the taigas, all the tundras,
All the wonders multicolored,
Multirhymerino,
Multiguesterino,
All the wicks, all the skins,
Yellowred and Falashino,
Palestino speakerino,
Ours, our universladino,
You, blond Alladino, sing.

From the deeps and the stilldeepers,
Slavic, Luvavich, Turkavic,
Pollackic, Kazakhic,
Greekish and Teutonic,
Caucasian, Ashkenazi,
Carpathian and Asatic –
Our languagenoiseration,
Our tragic multihyping,
Our bulkheap, our buzzing,
Our Latvic, our
Lithuanic
Jargonino,
Scrawny thoughtster,
You blond songer,
Sing Ladino.

 

From Yankev Glatshteyn,Yidishtaytshn (“Exegyiddish”), 1929. Translation @ Asya Vaisman Schulman. All rights reserved.

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