My light is not unearned,
Though it has not come to me from my father as an inheritance;
Rather, it has been hollowed out of stone and quarry
And hewn from my heart.
A single spark in the refuge of my heart lurks,
A small spark–but it is all mine,
I have not borrowed it from any man, nor stolen it–
From me and within me it comes.
Under the hammer of my great sorrows,
That would burst my heart, refuge of my strength,
That spark flies out to my eye,
And from my eye–to my rhyme.
From my rhyme it slips into your hearts,
And by the light of your fires it ignites and disappears,
And I, through my sweat and blood,
Will maintain the fire.
(translation: Richard Silverstein)
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