I Want to Fall Like This
Selected Poems of Rukhl Fishman, A Bilingual Edition
Selected Poems of Rukhl Fishman
Translated from the Yiddish by Seymour Levitan
With an Introduction by David G. Roskies
Pages: 208 Size: 5.5x9
I Want To Fall Like This showcases the inspired poetry of Ruhkl Fishman (1935-1984), the youngest and only American-born Yiddish poet of the "Yung Yisroel." This group of young poets and prose writers from across the world settled in Israel after World War II, and used Yiddish, instead of Hebrew, to bridge the gaps across time and place.
Readers can trace Fishman's American influences to Malka Heifetz Tussman, the Yiddish modernist poet, who was Fishman's mentor and role model and from whom she derives her literary style, as seen in her preference for free verse and sparing use of rhyme, her delight in puns and wordplay. Yet in subject matter, Fishman's poetry differs greatly from the poetry of her contemporaries. Neither erotic, biblical, nor political, her poetry concentrates instead on simple subjects – nature and animals and the world around her. What makes her poems brilliant are their ability to illuminate these subjects with fresh curiosity and intimacy.
Her later poetry reveals a far less rosy view of the world around her, paralleling changes in her own life. As Fishman matured and her health turned poor, she began to ponder the passage of time by viewing nature through a darker and more restrictive lens, creating some of her most thoughtful and stirring work, all of which is captured and expertly translated in I Want to Fall Like This.