Diti Ronen

Diti Ronen, born in 1952 in Tel-Aviv, is the author of two poetry books Inner Moon, Notebook (Hakibbutz Hame'uhad, 2002), and With the Slip Showing (Gvanim, 1999). Her poems are studied in Academic Institutions and several have been put to music, adapted for the stage, translated into foreign languages, and published in the US and elsewhere. She is regularly invited to speak about her poems at Bar-Ilan University and other venues. Ronen received her PhD from the Department of Theatre Arts, School of Visual and Performing Arts, Tel Aviv University. In her work she focuses on The Acting Self, aiming to shed light on the Actor's on stage work as a task that requires a mastery of multifarious ness self.
She was the head of the Theatre and Literature departments at the Israeli Ministry of Culture from 1999-2006, and at Tel Aviv Municipality 1997-1999. At present Ronen heads up The Cultural Policy and The Arts Administration program at The Center of Academic Studies, and she teaches and advises on these subjects. She is also currently working on her third book of poems, intended to be published in 2009.

First Quarter: Apogee

I am in the center. Encircling planets in their orbits distance themselves from me.

At my core I am hidden even from myself.
In the dark I can't see me.
The vastness of my longings, for example, or the size of my heart.

Therefore, I know nothing about my love.

My need to nourish what surrounds me
flows from me like an indispensable movement, inevitable
like the need to nourish myself.

And about the body: it's here, wishing for something else.

Second Quarter: Second Lunation

Perhaps tonight
no one is dreaming you -
white, virginal, ceremonial,
replete like God.

Belong to me tonight, so
I can hear you
near, as at the moment of birth,
whispering in my ear
my ineffable name
three times.

Adore me,
bend over me gently, here's my neck
spiraling toward you from under the blanket.

Look, my face is soft
and your body is ready
for whatever comes.

Second Quarter: Perigee

I donned my inner body to become a woman.
My expanses flowed over their contours
open-lipped toward you

My skin continued beyond its gait.
Given over to myself I dissolved my borders
delighting in the honey as it carried me forth

At night you came to me wrapped in my dream.
The days troubles removed themselves from the room
my light filled the house.

Second Quarter: Three-Quarters Full

My body's scent is heavier than me, spilt on the road
will you know me now that I am made fluid?

Tonight my neck will lengthen to reach you
I am marking my moves.

The mango is dripping, emitting its sweetness through the window.

Second Quarter: Third Lunation

I watch the movement of the leaves
that's how I want to come to you, elemental,
slowly, dazzled to discover my body
at the hour it opens to you surprised
by its hidden beauty.

You'll let my body to be my body, to speak its private language
only it understands. I'll ask you to love yourself in the ways of the flesh.

Second Quarter: Full Moon

My nights are longer than the inner darkness
my dreams are spoken in their private names
unfurling in slow motion and the hours drag on.

Often I think of my life
that lives outside the frame of my life.

The span of my existence is shifting.

Second Quarter: Filling Up

Like a pair of hungry nurslings my eyes rise to your orbit

My gaze is fixed to the suckling nipple
as it fills my body with its flowing white, purifying my expanses
to ready them for tomorrow's new day.

Monday: Pre-Dawn

Like a home, I leave you
when I come back I turn on the light.

You follow me to the kitchen
waiting for a sign of love.
I'm hungry

you offer
a plate, a chair, a bed.
I am conciliated.

I fold my body into yours
while my head leaves
for its winding paths.

How I longed to capture the words of beauty,
their perfection round
like a river stone.

Homes that I left come back to visit me.
At night I repay their visit.
Farewell within farewell within farewell.

Still I know nothing about your ways in me,
like how your mornings are readied for solace.

Third Quarter: Waning

What is the exact distance
between the light's source
and its sorrow.

In this arena the hand-to-hand
combat between us is
becoming dense.

Interwoven laser beams
scan the data of each insult
and its orbit, locating even the evasive and abject ones.

We are like iron flakes in a paralyzing
magnetic field, arrayed
according to prior orders.

In the absolute diminishment
the points of birth and death
become one.

Translated from the Hebrew
by Rachel Tzvia Back

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