Gimpel Beynish the Matchmaker
(Gimpl Beynish der Shadkhn)
Yiddish Comics of the early 20th century

Translation and commentary by Jane Peppler
Click here to read about and order the seven Gimpel books I've published.

Comics read right to left. Click on any comic strip for larger view.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Even poets need wives, part three. 3-25-1914

In the Gimpel Beynish book there are two or three comic strips in which Gimpel attempts to give wives to poets. In those cases the world poet was used and the fellow was tall, dressed like a dandy, and holding a scroll whilst declaiming with his arms waving about high in the air.

In this case,though, the word used is gramen-makher, rhyme maker, which is a less lofty vocation. Turns out the fellow's concerns are less lofty even than that.

Gimpel says he will makh im far a layt, which doesn't render easily into English. Di layt - the respectable people, and one measure of respectability is, you must be married.

I like the transliteration of the word "laundry."

March 25, 1914: The most holy feelings are sometimes found in prosaic people.
  1. GB: Winter is just barely starting to disappear. It feels already like what the rhymers call "spring."
  2. GB: There sits one such rhymer, probably exhausting himself over a rhyme. I should make him a match.
  3. GB: Just look how he drives himself crazy over nothing. It seems I'll soon place him among the respectable people.
  4. GB: Say, young man, what use are rhymes to you? I'll give you a bride who has, not a rhyme, but rather, a lot of money.
  5. The Young Man: What rhymes? What? I'm figuring out whether I have enough money to get my shirt back from the laundry.

די הײליגסטע געפֿיהלען װערן אַמאָל געטראָפֿען פֿון פּראָזאַישע מענשען.

גימפּעל בײניש: קױם, קױם גע׳פּטור׳ט דעם װינטער. עס פֿיהלט זיך שױן דאָס װאָס דיא גראַמען-מאַכער רופֿען ״פֿריהלינג.״
גימפּעל בײניש: אָט זיצט טאַקע אײנער אַזעלכער און מאַטערט זיך מסתּמא איבער אַ גראַם. מען דאַרף איהם רעדען אַ שידוך.
גימפּעל בײניש: זעה נאָר װי ער מאַכט זיך נאַריש איבער אַ גאָר ניט. איך׳ל, דאַכט זיך, באַלד מאַכען פֿון איהם אַ לײַט.
גימפּעל בײניש: סעי, בחור, װאָס טױגען דיר דיא גראַמען? איך׳ל דיר געבען אַ כּלה אָהן אַ גראַם, נאָר מיט אַ סך געלד.
דער בחור: װאָס פֿאַר גראַמען, װאָס? אָס רעכען איך אױס צו װעל איך האָבען גענוג געלד אױף אַרױס-צו-נעהמען מײַן העמד פֿון לאָונדרי.

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