Samuel NaHagid

Sometimes I rewrite translations. I don’t retranslate. I rewrite. It’s completely unethical. Ethics have no place in poetry.

The third of three love songs from Samuel HaNagid:


“Enough! I love the gazelle 

taking roses from your garden.

Scorn me, but– 


If you once gazed at my lover as I do

your lovers would take up arrows and end you.   


He said: I want the honey from your hive.

I answered: return it to me on your tongue. 

He raged: should we sin against the living God?

I replied: let your sin, sweet master, be with me. 


Samuel HaNagid (993-1056)

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