This petal droops for want of rain;

this petal sags under raindrop's burden.

Your rude bees drink my nectar,

and I get nothing in return.

Your elephants trample my leaves,

and kzusna chew my stalks.

What plant deserves such treatment?

What revenge may I take?

This petal turns aside in anger;

this petal sighs in sadness.

Translator's comments:

This melancholy poem was, of course, written before the Iddish learned of the pollination process. As in other cultures, the flower is a strong symbol of love and sexuality; it is poignant that one of the few love poems we have from the Iddish is so dark and brooding. Can we read anything into this?

Certainly the Iddish were not generally given to sentimentality in their poetry, either positive or negative. Most poems from this period are playful or philosophical rather than emotional; they reflect general mythical stereotypes rather than individual viewpoints. Bozsn, however, was written towards the end of the Middle Middle Iddish period--unlike most of the other poems in this collection, it was discovered in multiple copies, and thus must have become popular after the spread of pamphleteering that characterized the transition to the Late Middle period. One might argue that when poetry is handed down orally and anonymously from speaker to speaker, it must be archetypal in order to survive the variations that each speaker introduces; but when a poem is published on paper, it can remain the same over time, and continue to convey the same personal meaning that was put into it by its author. Additionally, we can detect influences from the Romantic style that was then arising in countries bordering Iddiland.

Line 6, kzusna: we do not know exactly what animal this was, as the kzusn became extinct in Iddiland (probably in the Early Late period).  However, we do know that it was a small, nervous rodent, and often symbolized slyness or unfaithfulness.