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                                                               מבחר שירי תורגמו לאנגלית. ראו באמזון.

Kaddish to My Parents and Other Poems 


שירים שלי מתורגמים לאנגלית

    poetry  -  ruth netzer          


:Translation: NAHUM STEIGMAN


A strong man, Mr. Berger, and stubborn
At seventy-three still changes my damaged screens,
cleans out my gutters, and is up on the roof fixing tiles.

A strong man, Mr. Berger, at seventy-three
his eyes are as blue and bright as the boy’s of thirteen
on the transport with his parents to the camps.

Then he didn’t want to live
but now he’ll suddenly give a laugh
and a slap of his thigh
(eyes as blue and bright as a holiday)
“Ach, what a life it was in those days ! ”
and climb back up on the roof.



Under the photo that rebuts my face
are letters laying claim to my name,
numbers that know nothing of the day I was born.
With these, the machine stamps me captive,
with a pin stuck through my neck
my identity is fixed and done with.


Well, now no more of this false witness.
Better think of the one waiting over the wall,
so as, at long last, to strip away
that not-your-face —
call to the light the face inside the face,
let the heart of the truth through
that is but the silence inside the silence.


His colorless eyes when he looks, as it were, at you.
You, you know, have never been the focus of his gaze,
but a point far behind you, hidden.

Why does he rouse in me such rancor?
The sword, after all, is aimed at his own heart,
not to speak of the fear.

What would happen if I went up behind him and laid my hand
gently on his shoulder or neck, would he sigh with relief?
Much more likely something would snap

Not to speak of the fear
that he might turn and look right into my eyes.


But you’ve forgottem that I am earth
— a worm,
whose wings stretch the sky wide,
A worm flung out these high vastnesses of seeing.
Like a kite, I am knit to the earth’s navel,
to all that shields me from the shining.
And no bird metaphysical, only a lonely body.



And man is implanted in a connectedness larger than he,
in the tatters and trifles that are his life…


Said Renoir, "I carry on what others before me
have done so well."
"I want my red to ring like a bell."
Nor did he shame to paint beauty pure.
Radiant women in a radiant light.
Tenderly sensuous, harmony, delight in the senses.
Trees, pools, couples dancing, cafés
and conversation — a pageant of beauty.
"I think, at long last, I'm beginning to understand something.
I'm still making progress," he said
in the days before his death.



The black brows are eagles' wings.
Flushed face, leaves,
fruits, roots like veins, trees of weeping.
A chatelaine, long-necked and proud.
Flowers of sovereignty. Hair piled and braided.
Queens over parakeets and monkeys,
over moon, sun and stars.

That straightforward stare.
But around the mouth
piercing, voiceless pain.

Sparing heself nothing
again and again she paints herself
(in anguished anger verifying her existence)
Frida sans peur drew the icon of death
on her own brow.


I am Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
savage painter of despair.
Sharp-angled trees impale the sky.
Etchings black and white of ascetic faces.
Alcohol eyes clubbed with anxiety.
Orgying in ink before the world ends.
No, I do not whistle in the dark
to chase away fear.
I have seen deep into it.
The evil that will flood the earth has cut a chasm across my path.
I am lost. Always I have gone
my own way. Sought exile in mountains.
From life erased myself.
Morphine my lover.
The drawings speak truth.
To die I shot myself.



Caspar David Friedrich
painter of northern melancholy
and vistas of mystery.
Two hundred years ago painted
a tree of crows.

Watch the crows. Watch the tree.
It's roots are held
in a black dread.

It flees for its life that storm-torn tree,
ochre tresses streaming back,
burning for light,
yearning for dusk
and a momentary glow of crows.


In a museum
room after room

when of a sudden there blares into my eyes
an iridescent splay

a vast tawny cloud
scudding over an oblong of black.

Rothko's rendering
of a burning bush —

I remember Rothko

He worked alone
burning and was consumed

(from: TRACES  )


At first glance, her own sweet regard, her shift discarded
are what draw your eyes
to that nakedness of thighs —
marble columns touched with flame.

Then the hand as it writes glides into the light
of what might be. And your focus slides
as always to little things —
the old lady's forehead, her head-dress, or a shameful foot
engoldened in light tumbling from a table drape.

(   From: WOMAN  )


:Translation -  Henry Abramovich  

Passing by fields strewn with working women

Maybe in a time to come I`ll write of
bending women in Millet`s pastoral field

Moving their heavy bodies
Vividly wraped, Collecting potetoes
for the drawing of Van-Goh.

And the guilt born from esthetic feelings
Born from Cracked backs
of bending women in the field.

(Millet - French painter, Drew working women in the fields)


Translation - Lary Barak


In the Gym

Is it possible to write a poem
in a gym?
On the speedy treadmill
I listen to recordings on Buddhism.
The voice of the teacher is clear and quiet.
Vigorous people are wiping sweat.
The treadmills roaring with a rhythmic moan -
the bellows of the gods


The splinter of the divine
That greeted me with the rainfll
Was it not a gemstone set
In the breastplate of my heart.
Ruth Netzer, “Rain” / “The splinter of the divine . . . “
Source: Mashiv Haru'ah (vol. 31, Winter 2009), p. 13. Translated for our siddur by Rabbi Ed Feld.

Our heart goes out to Saul
for his holding back, for his doubts, for his falls into depression,
for his loving David, whose love was given to Jonathan.
None loved Saul—
this tall looming man with curling tresses,
slated for kingship but who could not pass muster—
none save Samuel whose first choice he was,
Samuel loved him
then dropped him.
Our heart goes out to the man
whom his God afflicted with an evil spirit,
who in the depths of night sought a sorceress's aid,
who knew he was a simple man,
not one to dance transported before his God,
and who had only to venture his own way with the divine word
to be flung to the Philistines' swords.
Our heart goes out to Saul
for we also assail the heavens—
why were we slated for this world,
selected for spiritual kingship,
and then assaulted with reproach and recrimination.
Our agonies too have fallen on deaf ears,
and our distress. Saul has our love
and we shall never cease from seeking answer
why he who never asked for kingship,
why he who is closest to our hearts
should end impaled on a city wall.

:Translation: NAHUM STEIGMAN

(from Risim, Pardess Publishing, 2011, p. 83)

In the third millennium
In the third millennium they will take ship:
Millions of leaves
And a great calm
And a peach will open its heart
And its knobby kernel
Will be a crystal of love
A treasury of magnetic resonances
From the great sphere
In the third millennium the cypresses will roam about
An ocean floor of wheat will open up
And a green stone into whose center
The waters drip
To be poured out around us
From the place whence are waters without end.
Translation: Esther Cameron
( from: sharit. carmel.2000.  p.9)


Listen to Her
Listen listen to her
Her neck a pale candle
Her almond eyes darken
In her hair the blaze spreads.
Listen to her words
The heart of the danger
Be attuned to her
Give her raw wheat and your breasts.
She takes a break anyway
 Measuring the distance between you
not to be severed
Translation: Jenny Grigg
From: Yarok vitrage. Allef. 1987.p. 6


Whom of You
Whom of you have I met
And what part of you meets
Part of me
That which darts out from me  
Like a chameleon in a slow movement
 changing  within your selfhood
Scheming a laugh out of confusion
A story from your innards.  
Which of you will come tomorrow
To meet with what from me
What faces to build her towers
In my roots.
Translation: Jenny Grigg
From: Yarok vitrage. Allef. 1987.p. 7