Rosh Hashanah

November 27, 2008 at 8:28 pm 9 comments

Aharon Shabtai

Listen (in Hebrew)

Listen (in English)

Even after the murder
of the child Muhammad on Rosh Hashanah,
the paper didn’t go black.
In the same water in which the snipers
wash their uniforms,
I prepare my pasta,
and over it pour
olive oil in which I’ve browned
pine nuts,
which I cooked for two minutes with dried tomatoes,
crushed garlic, and a tablespoon of basil.
As I eat, the learned minister of foreign affairs
and public security
appears on the screen,
and when he’s done
I write this poem.
For that’s how it’s always been –
the murderers murder,
the intellectuals make it palatable,
and the poet sings.

(translated from the Hebrew by Peter Cole)

For those of us who regularly seek solace in poems, acts of terrorism can be particularly hard to deal with, because (the deluge of poetry written in the aftermath of 9/11 notwithstanding) there just doesn’t seem to be enough good poetry about living with terrorism.

In times like these, I find myself turning to books like  J’Accuse (New Directions 2003), a collection of ‘political’ poems by Hebrew poet Aharon Shabtai. Shabtai’s poems seem matter of fact, even flippant, in tone, but beneath their nonchalance lies a deep groundswell of outrage – an outrage made all the more powerful for being directed impartially against all who traffic in hatred or hold human life cheap, whether Arab or Jew. Shabtai’s voice is the voice of a poet for whom terrorism is a fact of everyday life, and therefore something to be not dismayed by but struggled against. What you hear in Shabtai’s poems is the constant rediscovery of the balance of being human, of learning to endure the horrors of the news without either succumbing to hatred or surrendering to indifference. It is what makes these poems so unexpectedly comforting.

- falstaff

(recording courtesy: PBS)

About these ads

Entry filed under: Aharon Shabtai, English, Falstaff, Hebrew, Peter Cole. Tags: .

Shaam Après la bataille

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Szerelem  |  November 28, 2008 at 7:07 am

    Thanks for this

    Reply
  • 2. varali  |  December 1, 2008 at 5:47 am

    Thank you.

    Reply
  • 3. peterandthehare  |  January 10, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    excellent.

    Reply
  • 4. Mei Zhang  |  February 12, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    Thank you.

    Reply
  • 5. fromwingtowing  |  April 12, 2011 at 2:37 am

    Thank you for introducing me to this amazing poetry. I’m thankful that I discovered your blog.

    Reply
  • 6. hostgator wordpress  |  December 31, 2011 at 4:58 am

    Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us you actually know what you’re talking approximately! Bookmarked. Kindly also talk over with my website =). We will have a link alternate arrangement between us

    Reply
  • 7. NYC Escorts  |  August 25, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    It’s a sad time we live in. When cold blooded murder is justified by twisted facade and true political agendas hide in the shadows of heresy where those who question it are merely written off as conspiracy nuts.

    Reply
  • 8. New York Asia Escort  |  May 1, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    New York Asia Escort NYC Escort takes your privacy very seriously. We know that our clients value confidentiality when dealing with professional NY Asian Escort and ESCORT IN NYC. We respect confidentiality as a vital part of building client trust and loyalty. Not only we want to show you that New York Escort is the only Asian Escort agency, and Asian Escort NYC that you can rely on, but also we have the most beautiful New York female entertainers. We will not release any details, including name, email address, address, credit cards information and contact number to any third party unless legally required to do so by order of a court, Call now 646-258-4948.

    Asian Escort New York is ready to pick up your call at anytime. You can always book appointments to date with our NYC Asian Escort. We will then arrange you meet and have fun with our beautiful sexy New York Asian Escorts.

    Reply
  • 9. New York Asia Escort  |  May 1, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    that New York Escort is the only Asian Escort agency, and Asian Escort NYC that you can rely on, but also we have the most beautiful New York female entertainers. We will not release any details, including name, email address, address, credit cards information and contact number to any third party unless legally required to do so by order of a court, Call now 212-628-6501.

    Asian Escort New York is ready to pick up your

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Feeds

Categories


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 65 other followers

%d bloggers like this: