Poem by gershon hepner
First time secretly I saw her
she seemed hidden and discreet,
like the secrets of the Torah
men to fools should not repeat.
Last beams of the sun were shining,
shining between rustling leaves,
brightest golden haloes lining
each like Joseph’s dreamworld sheaves.
Solitary she walked, her arms
covering her heaving chest,
shadows staining cheeks, more charms
hinted by each heaving breast.
Sunbeams falling to her feet,
then illuminated her brow,
where they caused her eyes to greet
secrets of her inner space.
Like two coals they were immersed
in a bright, ethereal flame,
actors that have not rehearsed
lines that spotlighted her fame.
Sharp, bright weapons, both were whetted,
shining forth to me, oh lord,
while her frame was silhouetted,
an Academy award.
Then it seemed as if from vipers
venom darted from her eyes,
poison piercing me from snipers,
whose advantage was surprise.
Crookedness I could not straighten,
from the painful venom burning,
and I called to God: “Kill Satan!
Lilith hunts me while I’m yearning! ”
Disappearing without traces,
she departed like the flame
that the dying Sabbath chases,
while I burned, staked by her claim.
Freely translated from the Hebrew of Chaim Nahman Bialik’s eyneyah, “Her Eyes”.
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