“Six Lines” in Seven Translations: The Craft of Translating Yiddish Poetry

A Live, Online Event Recorded Via Zoom on April 19, 2020

A reading, discussion, and musical performance of Aaron Zeitlin’s poem “Zeks shures” (“Six Lines”) in English translation by the Yiddish Book Center’s Translation Initiative for National Poetry Month.

“Who needs a poem anyway—and especially in Yiddish?” That is the question posed by Aaron Zeitlin’s short Yiddish poem, “Six Lines.” This program will ask a related question: “Who needs a poem anyway—especially translated from Yiddish?” Join Madeleine Cohen, the director of translation initiatives at the Yiddish Book Center, Sebastian Schulman, executive director of KlezKanada, and Daniel Kahn, acclaimed musician and translator, for a reading of Zeitlin’s poem in Yiddish and in seven surprisingly different translations into English, including a performance of Kahn’s musical setting and translation. Through this we will explore translation as a literary art unto itself and get a glimpse of how translation opens up a broader world of literature and helps us to experience the power of poetry.

NOTE: The program begins at 7:40 minutes in.

We’ll be presenting weekly live virtual programs every Thursday evening at 7 p.m.—a range of live programming on a range of topics related to Yiddish and modern Jewish literature and culture. You’ll find the full schedule and event listings at yiddishbookcenter.org/events.

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