Beginning – Book Excerpts

Book Excerpts

beginningBeginning: The Immigration Poems
1924-1926, of Nachman Obzinger

Omerta Publications, 2014
27 pages

Translated from Yiddish by Benjamin Weiner
Edited by Hilton Obenzinger

Lublin 5/19/25

A Parting at Evening

Father, mother, sister, brother,
As we stand here, I swear
That I will not forget you,
On this you have my word.

Over seas and rivers
And the breadth of the wide world,
I go to seek my joy,
Though it leave me lonely.

Be well, father.
Be well, mother.
Be well, sister and brother.
Be well, be well, be well.

New York, 12/12/25

In the New Land

In the new land,
So far away.
The life
Is so strange,
And the thoughts,
And the laughter,
And the song.

Everyone runs
In a muddle:
White and black,
Arab and Chinese,
Like in a plague,
Like an animal
Through a hoop.

The great, omnipotent
Look at it,
See how it grows.

New York 4/8/26

Old Thoughts

You read these verses
From the poet,
And an image runs through
Your mind.
Ah! How he laughs
And mocks the world
That is so great and holy
And costs so much money.
Like a worn-out soldier
Whose sword has fallen from his hand.
Like one who has outlived and outlaughed himself,
He is ready to embrace the earth.

You, reader of these lines,
Have a good laugh.
The writer
Is not yet twenty years old.