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Poetry by Elisha Porat

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Two well done interpretations of the same poem, translated from the Hebrew Language to English by two of Elisha Porat's translators.

 

As Things Stand
translated from the Hebrew by Asher Harris

Nice of you to phone, it was good to hear
Your voice. And how are you? Well done, you've
Come on. I saw what you'd had published in the
Magazine. Too true, quite a few years have passed since then:
And they've had their way, a few grandchildren,
I won't say how many. You're really not supposed
To count. And what about me? the same walls
And forty-two square meters. The ground
Shifts, and round about everything is cracked, and at night
I tremble: sudden fractures, the plaster
Flakes, and on the roof bats spew out bursts of
Fruit squishy with vomit and seeds. And if
I tune my ear to the silence that comes
From your telephone, I can clearly hear:
Droves of yearnings galloping away to the distant hills.

 

Status Report
Translated from Hebrew by Yuval Perez, April 2000

It was nice of you to call, it's nice to hear
your voice. How are you ? You are
much better now. I've seen the work you published
in the magazine. Yes, more than a few years had passed since:
and it shows, there are few offsprings,
he didnt say how many. One should not
count. So, how am I ? The same walls and
hundred and twenty square feet: the ground aways
around me and everything cracks. I tremble
at nights: sudden breaks, the plaster
peels off, up on the roof bats spit
showers of fruit mash softened by puke and grains. And if I
attend to this silence coming from
your phone, I can clearly hear:
herds of longings fading away, galloping towards the mountains.

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