gili photo by rob kenter

By Gili Haimovich:


My Hebrew is going to get hurt.
So how will she continue to adorn me?
Through my attachment to her
she multiplies,
as if allowing me more time to lament.


הָעִבְרִית שֶׁלִּי תֵּכֶף תִּפָּצַע
?אָז אֵיךְ תַּמְשִׁיךְ לְיַפּוֹת אוֹתִי
דֶּרֶךְ הַהִקָּשְׁרוּת שֶׁלִּי אֵלֶיהָ
הִיא הוֹלֶכֶת וּמִתְרַבָּה
.כְּמוֹ לְהַסְפִּיק שֶׁאַסְפּיד יוֹתֵר

Translated from Hebrew by Dara Barnat. Poem originally appeared via The Bakery and appears here today with permission from the poet.

The Dragonfly

I’m ashamed to say it but
The wings of the dragonfly I was
Were made of glass.
Her delicate but roachy body buzzed
In a pleasant yet mechanical way.

I’m ashamed to look at her because I believe it’s still possible
to see her there.
Between you and me,
what blew her cover were the wings attached to her small body
not the bolt,
but the usual flesh and bones and muscles
flapping with the energy of a female.

Poem originally appeared in Recours au Poeme and ARC and appears here today with permission from the poet.

Gili Haimovich is an internationally published poet and translator. In North America she had published the chapbook Living on a Blank Page (Blue Angel Press 2009) and in Hebrew she has four volumes of poetry. Her work appears or are forthcoming in numerous journals and anthologies such as: The International Poetry Review, LRC – The Literary Review of Canada, TOK1: Writing the New Toronto, Asymptote, Ezra Magazine, Lilith, Bridges: A Jewish Feminist Journal, Cahoots Magazine, Stellar Showcase Journal, Women in Judaism, Recours au Poème (English and Hebrew with French translations) and The Bakery as well as Israeli ones. Gili also works as a Writing Focused Expressive Arts therapist, educator and workshops facilitator.

Editor’s Note: Today’s poems are the closing of a circle. There is no longer beginning or end, only the far reaches, the impact, the power of poetry. What began with my featuring Dara Barnat’s poem “Walt Whitman” became a magic carpet ride within the Holy Land and its many languages. During my sabbatical in Israel I featured so many amazing poets and translators on this series, and now that I have returned to more familiar pastures I am paying homage to all of them with today’s entry. This will not be the last time I feature Hebrew writers in translation or English writers living in Israel, but it is a bookend on a time and a place that forever changed me and for which I am forever grateful. If I am afraid that “my Hebrew is going to get hurt,” I trust that the amazing poets I have shared here with you throughout my journey will work like invisible threads binding me to a language and a country, always.

Want to read more by and about Gili Haimovich?
Recours au Poem
The Bakery

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