Two Poems

translated by Dara Barnat
 Photo: Tanya Hart  

Go Thee

And the way you gathered up your excess soul
before it spilled to the floor.
At the end of the Hebrew-Yiddish-English poetry reading
and you went to eat shawarma.

The way you gathered up your soul,
but didn’t hold it too tight,
because too much of something isn’t a treasure,
because your fatigue is also excess.
And the music drilled too much into both of them,
and your eyes became stars in the night of the assorted 

Too many have left you,
You have no intention of loving this one too.
You’re not enhancing the green twists and turns of her heart
in your walk.
Stomping on them.

Go, go, after the words,
the body too will become aerodynamic,
a weightless airplane following
after the weighty words.
Go, move, fly or breathe,
from your country, from your people, your fatherland, 
your mother’s language,
so you become a great nation, a small blessing.
Go, move, fly, roll away or breathe,
from moving matter to thinning air.


The Female Of

The beginning of spring
A maple tree sighs
(The despair blossoms)
Chrysanthemums roar (“more, more”)
The crow is so naked under his feathers,
so naughty.
The sky refuses to blush
to the light of the eclipsing sun.
Spring, the female of the cold,
the Nakba of the winter.

Translations from the Hebrew
By Dara Barnat

Author’s note: The Hebrew word for “female,” nekevah, and the Arabic word Nakbah are etymologically different but sonically similar. The Day of the Nakbah is marked in springtime on May 15.

Editorial note: “Go Thee” is from Landing Lights (2017). “The Female Of” is from Baby Girl (2014). 

Photo by Lioz Issac

Gili Haimovich is an internationally published poet and translator who writes in both Hebrew and English. She has six volumes of poetry in Hebrew and a collection of poetry in English, Living on a Blank Page. Her work is featured in numerous journals and translated into several languages.

Dara Barnat’s poetry, translations, and essays can be found in numerous journals. She is author of In the Absence (2016), and holds a PhD from Tel Aviv University, where she is Writing Director in the Department of English and American Studies.