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HEBREW POEMS

BOAZ YANIV
Trans. Adriana X. Jacobs


This poem must be read out loud
In a small room
With one window
Facing the sea
(But if no sea is found a busy highway will do the trick)
One must try to feel the humidity
At oneís fingertips
Go over each line from finish to start
Until the din begins to ebb
Until the page begins to slip
On second thought
A room isnít necessary
A sea isnít necessary
(Perhaps a highway is)
Thereís no need for humidity
Or fingertips
Thereís no need for
A poem
 

 

 

 


ERAN TZELGOV

Trans. Adriana X. Jacobs

At night
We heard steps approaching
And your blue shadow trembled
Until I fell asleep

The night envied your shadow
And turned blue like your fears
On the day you left

If only your shadow had been
Water
I would have sipped it
With my first cup of coffee on a morning
So pale
Without you

 

 

 

 


ERAN TZELGOV
Trans. Adriana X. Jacobs


I breed flowers inside my head
Fire petals, smoke grenades
The scent of tear gas in my breath
I was, I am, and will be king
Over all the fields in my head
I am grand
And fine among my brothers
All of them

They strike out sin
How painful
How beautiful
And I
I breed flowers inside my head
 

 

 

 

 

 



ERAN TZELGOV
Trans. Adriana X. Jacobs and Eran Tzelgov

Little by little
Every cat
Adopts
His humanís beat
There can be no other way
Thatís how it is
Between a milk-dripping chin
And a birdís broken wing
And venom seeping over a long lost lover
Tiptoeing from the saucer to the boot
The same yowl
The same shining gaze
The fear of a sudden movement in the bedroom
Little by little
Every cat adopts
Thatís how it is

A cat
 

 

 

 

 

 

 



RONNIE HIRSCH
Trans. Keren Nathan


The wonder of Jaffaís grass mounds
to expire
in a silk purse
longing for a city that cannot reach the shore
in the emergency rooms of the white house
the nurses smooth waves to one side
and the waves never reach the shore
in the emergency rooms of the white house
death is announced
in scattered sawdust
grass covers plots made by men
who have collapsed under loads of small sacks
in which they collected waves
to bring to the shore
 

 

 


 



RONNIE HIRSCH
Trans. Keren Nathan


It is as if the songs fell
from a ravenís beak staked in the grass
moving itsí urgent suffocating head
itsí airborne cawing
cannot suddenly escape
that which is very near going
very far, a window on the sea
when something like this happens
just like when doves blackened in the distant sky happen
just like when stacks of hay happen
you must fly away, right away, raven

 

 



Tender were the words
YANAY ISRAELI
Trans. Eran Tzelgov

Tender were the words
and victimized.
We raped them methodically
like violators of a cease
fire.

Just like that day when
there werenít any squill bulbs on the hill
and all afternoon we dug up nothing
from the upturned land.

Practical were your hands
and well-trained.
I admired the patience
with which you tied your hair.

Perhaps tomorrow, you said.
And I just couldn't.
Oh God I couldnít.


 

 

 

 


In the cold
MUHAMAD AGUANY
Trans. Adriana X. Jacobs

Amid the water
In the cold
In the depths of snow
I have found your heart
Wrapped in love
As warm as
An aquarium fish
Inside the house
Waiting to be caressed
Like a Persian cat
In the middle of the highway


 

 

 


 

* Adriana X. Jacobs is a graduate student in Comparative Literature at Princeton University. She is writing her dissertation on multilingualism and translation in Modern Hebrew poetry and can be found on line at www.stingykids.net

* Yanay Israeli - b. 1981. Living and Studying in Tel-Aviv. Published few poems in various magazines. His first book of poetry, Mot Mata' Ha-Agas, Was published in august 2007.

* Muhammad Aguani - b. 1987. Living in Jaffa, and writing both in Arabic and in Hebrew.

* Roni Hirsch - b. 1983. Living and studying in Tel-Aviv. Published a few poems in diffrent magazines and contributed poems to band - Lebanon. One of the three editors of the avant-garde journal of poetry and criticism - Daka   www.daka-journal.com

* Boaz Yaniv - b. 1980. Living and studying in Beer-Sheva. A social and political activist of the radical Israeli left. One of the three editors of the avant-garde journal of poetry and criticism - Daka   www.daka-journal.com

* Eran Tzelgov - b. 1974. Raised in Beer-sheva, though Currently a PhD student at NYU. Translates poetry from English and Spanish into Hebrew. One of the three editors of the avant-garde journal of poetry and criticism - Daka  www.daka-journal.com
 


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