Literature and Poetry

Natan Alterman

Telegraph to Gromyko

From the Seventh Column, written after Gromyko's first speech at the Assembly of Nations in favor of a Zionist solution, 1947

To Andrei Gromyko,
Lake Success, the United Nations


Thank you.
There are no words.
The Yishuv is still dazed.


The morning began with the daily news
Rendering us speechless,
frozen, confused.


You must understand the reason we doubt
news that falls like manna.
See, we’ve managed without.


We’re quite unaccustomed to this warm sensation.
Unfamiliar, 
exotic – 
of real consolation.


Warmth and good tidings have come in our favor
like a drowning man 
who’s been cast a life-saver. 

 
His struggle unfinished...
More battles in store ...
But still he shouts “Thanks”
To his savior on shore.


On a good day like this, how I wish I could see
The look on the face of the Boyaner Rebbe – 
On hearing the voice 
that took all breath away,
The voice of a man 
named Gromyko Andrei.

 
Some like to say the future’s still pending 
But in front of our eyes:
the walls are expanding.

 
The air is filled with a tangible joy. 
It’s quite like
the glee of a birthday boy!
 

And as for the lads...
from Hashomer Hatzair 
They are strutting around like true chevaliers!

 
Gromyko Andrei,
Our spirits are high.
For consent and permission
today qualifies.

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