North Star, you who walk along with me,
I’m your snowman in a cloak of skin.
From my coldness, all the neighbors flee,
Just the birches at the fence stay in.
Seeing all the snowmen down on Brighton Beach this weekend reminded me of a poem that features in LAMENT. It appears in a collection titled Siberia by the Yiddish poet Abraham Sutzkever, translated by Barbara & Benjamin Harshav (on-line via the University of California Press). Sutzkever was born in 1913 in Vilna, Lithuania, and spent part of his boyhood in Siberia; his experience there informs these wonderful poems. He died in 2010 in Tel Aviv.