DevMode
Perhaps

Perhaps it was never so.
Perhaps
I never woke early and went to the fields
To labor in the sweat of my brow

Nor in the long blazing days
Of harvest
On top of the wagon laden with sheaves,
Made my voice ring with song

Nor bathed myself clean in the calm
Blue water
Of my Kinneret. O, my Kinneret,
Were you there or did I only dream?

From Anthology of Modem Hebrew Poetry. Institute for the translation of Hebrew Literature and Israel Universities Press, 1966. Translated from the Hebrew by A.C. Jacobs.


To My Land

I cannot offer you, my land,
In praise, heroic deeds;
One tree I planted on the way
Which to the Jordan leads.
One narrow path to my feet yields,
Which runs across the fields.

I know how humble are the gifts
The child offers her mother:
A cry of joy one glorious day,
When shines the sun in splendor;
And, shed for you, a secret tear
To see the shabby clothes you wear.

From Selected Poems of Rachel, Tel Aviv: Eked, 1974. Translated from the Hebrew by Elias Pater.

Only the Dead Won't Die

Only they are left me; they are faithful still
Whom death's sharpest knife can no longer kill.

At the turn of the highway, at the close of the day
They silently surround me; they quietly go my way.
A true pact is ours, a tie time cannot dissever
Only what I have lost is what I possess forever.

From Anthology of Modern Hebrew Poetry. Translated from the Hebrew by Robert Friend.

One Gentle Evening Suave

One gentle evening suave, I'll go
Outside and immobile,
Not speaking to a single soul,
I'll sit awhile.

I'll rest like one who seeks refuge
From the sirocco's heat,
In the shade of a leafy tree,
While sitting at its feet.

I shall pretend to have forgot
That fate's decree is signed,
Which changes my few festive days
To mourning predestined.

One gentle evening, suave, I'll go
Outside and immobile,
Not speaking to a single soul,
I'll sit awhile.

From Selected Poems of Rachel. Translated from the Hebrew by Elias Pater.

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