The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

A Limerick in Yiddish

Michael has written a limerick in the language of Yiddish ...
Michael reading his poem in Yiddish ...
Es iz geven an alte kakke fun Vin
ver iz geven noch in mitandrin.
Er hot gegloybt latkes
zeyen geven zayn gatkes
un itst zogt nisht aher nisht ahin.
Translation - non rhyming
Michael reading the translation in English ...
There was an old geezer from Vienna
who was in quite a lot of bother.
He thought that latkes (potato fritters)
were his gatkes (long johns/trousers)
and now he says 'Neither there nor here'.
Yiddish originates from 9th century Central Europe and is a Germanic language historically spoken by Ashkenazi Jews. It was the first language of Michael's grandparents on both sides of his family. He knew some Yiddish from his parents Harold and Connie Rosen. It was the first language his mother learnt as a girl. With his father, it was also mixed with English.

About the Writer

Michael Rosen

Michael has written and edited many books and has been a freelance writer, teacher, journalist, performer, broadcaster and university professor. He loves football and is a passionate supporter of Arsenal FC.