by Dahlia Ravikovitch (translated from the Hebrew
by Chana Bloch and Ariel Bloch)
After they all leave,
I remain alone with the poems,
some poems of mine, some of others.
I prefer poems that others have written.
I remain quiet, and slowly
the knot in my throat dissolves.
Sometimes I wish everyone would go away.
Maybe it's nice, after all, to write poems.
You sit in your room and the walls grow taller.
A blue kerchief becomes a deep well.
You wish everyone would go away.
You don't know what's the matter with you.
Perhaps you'll think of something.
Then it all passes, and you are pure crystal.
After that, love.
Narcissus was so much in love with himself.
Only a fool doesn't understand
he loved the river, too.
You sit alone.
Your heart aches, but
it won't break.
The faded images wash away one by one.
Then the defects.
A sun sets at midnight. You remember
the dark flowers too.
You wish you were dead or alive or
Isn't there a country you love? A word?
Surely you remember.
Only a fool lets the sun set when it likes.
It always drifts off too early
westward to the islands.
Sun and moon, winter and summer
will come to you,
-Dahlia Ravikovitch (1936 - 2005)
She died of suicide on August 30, 2005. She was 69 and might have been just starting. Read The Guardian's obituary
I took Ravikovitch's poem above from Eric M. Selinger's blog.