Identity 18 19 1 “Hora to an Exiled Girl” (tr. Elie Leshem), retrieved 18 July 2013 from . Chapter 1 Bridges from Yesterday to Tomorrow – The Role of “Diaspora Culture” in the Stories of Fifth Aliyah Heroines Introduction A hora, roaring, tempestuous, blazes around me With the mystery of rhythm, gladdening and forging, It tugs at my body and heart. The foot marches, the back quivers, the song is ignited, a searing chorus Dance and song, a wordless prayer, Hail to the future, hail to creation. But then a figure flutters before my eyes My arm has escaped my friends’ embrace My heart spurns the tempestuous singing, Far and near it consumes me whole. Blue eyes Such a bewildered glance A sad silence and a stubborn mouth The stillness grows in me I remain standing Alone, in a crowd of a hundred, her and I.1 This poem, “Hora to an Exiled Girl,” was penned in late February 1943 by a twenty-one-year-old woman some three and a half years after she had immigrated to pre-state Israel. She was working as a steward on a kibbutz after a lengthy stint in the commune’s laundry room. In the diary that she kept at that time, she intermittently dis- cussed three topics that preoccupied her: love of her new homeland 20 2 The term was invoked, for example, in eulogies recited when Szenes’ remains were brought to Israel in 1950 and in writings in the Hebrew press. See my article, “Founding Myths and Heroic Icons:...
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