Wednesday 15 December 2010

Poetry by Tal Nitzan (Israel)

Something quiet

Nothing is quieter
than blows inflicted upon others,
nothing threatens less
the satisfied soul’s calm.
The defeat in their eyes is mute,
their arms
drop quietly.

What a pleasant silence.

Except for a tiny piercing sound
that bothers mainly in the mornings
but can be dimmed easily
by the relaxing rustle
of newspaper pages.

Before they’re buried under ruins
they disappear under the Entertainment Section
the half full cup of coffee
the slamming door

in our house
that stands firm.

In the time of cholera

Facing one another
we turn our backs to the world’s calamities.
Behind our closed eyes and curtains
both heat and war
erupted at once.
The heat will calm down first,
the faint breeze
won’t bring back
the boys who have been shot,
won’t cool down
the wrath of the living.
Even if it tarry,
the fire will come,
many waters won’t quench etc. *
Our arms as well
can only reach our own bodies:
We are a small crowd
incited to bite,
to cling to each other
to barricade ourselves in bed
while in the ozone above us
a mocking smile
cracks wide open.

*(Song of Solomon, 8:7) “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it”

(c) Translation from Hebrew:
Tal Nitzan with Vivian Eden 


Tal Nitzan has published four collections of poetry: Domestica, An Ordinary Evening, Café Soleil Bleu, The First to Forget and won many awards. Nitzan is the editor of the anthology With an Iron Pen: Hebrew Protest Poetry 1984 – 2004. 

1 comment:

  1. Tal,
    Its Nina and Jonathan Feld! We are coming to Israel with our 13 year old son Jacob and would love to see you if you are around. We are arriving in mid-July for about 12 days. All our love to you and the kids.
    Nina Feld


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