Two Poems

translated by Kevin Haworth
Snowy roads at a crossroads with trees. Photo: Daniel Ebneter/Flickr
Photo: Daniel Ebneter/Flickr


All winter I didn’t write a poem, and I didn’t remember
even one dream that I dreamt. I left a house
and a wife, rented an apartment, and everything I needed
I found discarded along one road or another: bed,
table, shelves, refrigerator. It’s possible to say
that this was a wonder, an act of angels, as I stood
at a crossroads. It’s also possible not to think about it
too much. I cannot know a thing about
life’s questions, or to estimate what I found and how much
I lost. But all that winter I didn’t write a
poem, and I didn’t remember even one dream that I dreamt.


Simple Thing

There is no simple thing – from olive branches
do not make clubs. There is
no simple thing at all – from discarded stones
do not build a wall. There is no clarity in ease. Where
the house stood there is a little mound of dust,
and from the dust we came, as they say. It is no simple thing
to walk in another’s shoes.
But sometimes it seems that you
truly remember: the sheep,
the mosque,
the well.

Translations from the Hebrew
By Kevin Haworth

Eli Eliahu’s publications include Epistles to the Children (Am Oved, 2018), Ir veh-beh-helot [City and fears] (Am Oved, 2011), and Ani veh lo malakh [I, and not an angel] (Helicon, 2008). He’s received the Matanel Prize for Young Jewish Writers (2013) and the Israel Prime Minister’s Prize in Poetry (2014).

Kevin Haworth is the author of four books, including the essay collection Famous Drownings in Literary History. The director of the low-residency MFA program at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, he is at work on Rutu Modan: War, Love, and Secrets, a study of Israel’s leading graphic novelist.