This Is the Book of Psalms That Made My Mother Dance


José Kozer


This Is the Book of Psalms That Made My Mother Dance

This is the book of psalms that made my mother dance,
this is the book of hours my mother gave me,
this is the stern book of precepts.
Enraged and impelled, I come before this gaunt book,
I come before it like a rabbi to dance a sovereign polka,
I come before it in the height of glory to dance with ceremony a
death's clandestine arm-around-the-arm.
Goose stepping, I come before it to dance while smoking,
I'm a rabbi who raised his gown in the Russian steppes,
I'm a rabbi that an enormous czar forces to dance before the bastions
of death,
I'm Grandfather Leizer who danced ceremoniously pressed to the
waist of Grandmother Sara,
I'm a damsel who arrives--all wanton--to expand the borders of
this dance,
I'm a damsel distended by a sudden confusion of the ankles,
but death imposes disorder on me,
and there's a vase falling in the large shelves of my room,
there's a lustrous and farcical misstep,
and my feet are like a loud bellowing of four generations of the dead.

(Translated from the Spanish by Orlando Ricardo Menes)


Return to Past Selections



While we are striving to create online ordering capabilities, for now it's down to the good old mail ordering. You can pick up your copy of the Artful Dodge by sending cash or check orders to:

Artful Dodge
Daniel Bourne, Editor
Department of English
The College of Wooster
Wooster, OH 44691

Remember, our newest issue is $12.00 while back issues are $5.00.