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Poetry offerings from Yehiel Hazak | Poem





Monuments (1)

Monuments (2)

 Short Bio



Translated from Hebrew by Jaffa Weisman

    Ask them to return, 
    Cousins, children to one father are we 
    Ask them to return, praying thinly 
    Whispering the earthbound sounds, beg 
    Them to come back. A day shall come when 
    Words of prayer will be cherished, whispered 
    Loudly called again to come, 
    Return to the mountains, houses, fields, 
    Engulfing voices calling to return, 
    And none but screams shall be their boundaries 
    Nor shall the sea be their last hold, its 
    Waves still silencing the voices shouting 
    To return, shackled, chains of soldiers 
    Marching into brothers' wars on fathers 
    Earth that swallow all. 
    Beloved lands were called by men and women not to run, 
    Do not run too fast, don't rush, the place is burning, 
    And my mother's voice like tunnels calling back her cubs 
    Into her flameless earth, becoming 
    Burning ashes, 
    While winds go round themselves and silence's scepter 
    Is upon us, and till we freeze we're called upon 
    Inside the circle 
    And we die 
    Like Philistines in temples 
    Beloved lands to say. 

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translated from Hebrew by Tama Hazak

Life-sated rage-sated fear-sated 
Still standing erect, a "turia" beside him 
Calling the trees by their names and no reply. 
Even they. What should he do. He'll tear a couch-grass 
And wave it as his last flag and start 
Counting. Maybe 
A Russian curse would help. He used to seek 
Other names for God. They'd dried up in his mouth before 
He spat them to the ground. 
Maybe he loved them as manure because of the smell. 
Later he curses, already dried dung, slowly became 
Road marks. What road. Was there one or not, he tried to walk 
Till he stopped burned-out on the spot 
Life-sated rage-sated fear- 
Sated, by the "turia" building himself like a tomb stone 
For himself and for the road which filled his mouth 
Because of what 

translator's note: turia is a kind of Israeli mattock

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translated from Hebrew by Tama Hazak

What had flamed up in a leaping swiftness was slowly extinguished by 
And almost forgotten 
Since then I live at a shout's distance from the village navel. 

And the shout moves on tracks there and back like the law of nature 
And its magnet from one night to another, 
Leaving lashes of flesh and blood on the blazing iron 
By and by I shrivel to the size of a shout, I even 
Want to be a bird and fly or 
Be a seaman of songs 
And I stay - 
The same tracks 
No more lessons no more speeches 
Only a shout lost in all the distances of the wind 
That morning flamed up when I was born 
In that village now at the distance 
Of a shout. 

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Yehiel Hazak was born in 1936, in Kibbutz Afiqim, Jordan valley, 
near the town of Tiberia, on lake Kinneret (the sea of Galilee) shore. 

Yehiel, an Hebrew poet, has published more than a dozen volumes 
of Hebrew poetry, and currently teaches Hebrew literature at a 
college in Tel Aviv area.

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