Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Amichai Chasson

New York, slikhes nakht*

West End Avenue corner of 79th Street,
outside Carlebach’s shul,*
black-suited mercy makers gamble,
eyes darting, “who by fire who by water”
and who by plane crash,
tonight the first slikhot* are read,
the Upper West Side is quiet,
only Jews walk the pavement,
and He seems to have a voice
that asks forgiveness before the gate is shut.

The last bar is about to close now,
and I sit alone, humanity passing
through my thoughts, my prayer-book
for the Days of Awe
lies before me. I seal the verdict.
The waitress washes down the sidewalk.

ניו יורק, סְלִיכֶעס נַאכְט

ניו יורק, סְלִיכֶעס נַאכְט



שְׂדֵרַת וֵוסְט אֵנְד פִּנַּת רְחוֹב 79, מִחוּץ לְקַרְלִיבָּךְ שׁוּל
עוֹמְדִים מַכְנִיסֵי רַחֲמִים שְׁחוֹרִים לְבוּשֵׁי סְחָבוֹת מְהַמְּרִים
בִּתְנוּעוֹת עֵינַיִם מִי בָּאֵשׁ וּמִי בַּמַּיִם וּמִי בִּנְפִילַת מָטוֹס
הַלַּיְלָה אוֹמְרִים סְלִיחוֹת רִאשׁוֹנוֹת, הָאַפֶּר וֵוסְט סַיְד שָׁקֵט
רַק יְהוּדִים הוֹלְכִים עַל הַמִּדְרָכוֹת, קוֹל הַכִּבְיָכוֹל
מְבַקֵּשׁ מְחִילָה לִפְנֵי נְעִילַת שַׁעַר

הַבָּר הָאַחֲרוֹן עוֹמֵד לְהִסָּגֵר עַכְשָׁו,
אֲנִי יוֹשֵׁב בּוֹ לְבַדִּי, בָּאֵי עוֹלָם עוֹבְרִים
בְּמַחְשַׁבְתִּי, מַחְזוֹר לְיָמִים נוֹרָאִים
מֻנָּח לְפָנַי. אֲנִי חוֹתֵם אֶת הַדִּין.
הַמֶּלְצָרִית מְגִיפָה מַיִם אֶל הַמִּדְרָכָה. 
Close

New York, slikhes nakht*

West End Avenue corner of 79th Street,
outside Carlebach’s shul,*
black-suited mercy makers gamble,
eyes darting, “who by fire who by water”
and who by plane crash,
tonight the first slikhot* are read,
the Upper West Side is quiet,
only Jews walk the pavement,
and He seems to have a voice
that asks forgiveness before the gate is shut.

The last bar is about to close now,
and I sit alone, humanity passing
through my thoughts, my prayer-book
for the Days of Awe
lies before me. I seal the verdict.
The waitress washes down the sidewalk.

New York, slikhes nakht*

West End Avenue corner of 79th Street,
outside Carlebach’s shul,*
black-suited mercy makers gamble,
eyes darting, “who by fire who by water”
and who by plane crash,
tonight the first slikhot* are read,
the Upper West Side is quiet,
only Jews walk the pavement,
and He seems to have a voice
that asks forgiveness before the gate is shut.

The last bar is about to close now,
and I sit alone, humanity passing
through my thoughts, my prayer-book
for the Days of Awe
lies before me. I seal the verdict.
The waitress washes down the sidewalk.
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère