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August 24, 2005


One of my favorite Hebrew poets, Dalia Rabikovitch committed suicide 2 days ago in Tel Aviv, after battling a life long struggle with depression.

Dalia_rabikovitz_1 אפילו סלעים נשברים אני אומרת לך
ולא מחמת זקנה.
שנים רבות הם שוכבים על גבם בחום בקור,
שנים כה רבות,
כמעט נוצר רושם של שלווה.
אין הם זזים ממקומם וכך נסתרים הבקיעים.
מעין גאווה.
שנים רבות עוברות עליהם בציפייה.
מי שעתיד לשבח אותם עדיין לא בא.
ואז האזוב משגשג, האצות נרגשות, והים מגיח וחוזר,
ודומה הם ללא תנועה.
עד שיבוא כלב ים קטן להתחכך על הסלעים
יבוא וילך.
ופתאום האבן פצועה.
אמרתי לך, כשסלעים נשברים זה קורה בהפתעה.
ומה גם אנשים

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

"Even rocks break, I’m telling you,
And not from old age.
For many years they lay unshielded in the heat and chill
So many years they seem peaceful.
They don’t move, and that’s how cracks are formed.
Like pride.

Many years they lay there waiting,
The ones who were supposed to praise them, did not show up,
But the moss thrives, the sea weed agitates, and the sea attacks & retreats
While the rocks seem secure in place.
Until a young sea lion snuggles against them
And then leaves.
And suddenly the rock is shattered.

I told you that when rocks break, it happens without warning
And more so with people -"

Many More Unusual News from the Middle East Here

August 24, 2005 in Middle East | Permalink


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Sad. I'd like to read more of her. Thanks.

Posted by: Neil at Aug 24, 2005 3:38:48 AM

I was unfamiliar with her work, but I will now seek her out. What a beautiful poem, and what a loss. Thank you for this post.

Posted by: RedBetty at Aug 24, 2005 7:29:13 AM

I've come across (a translation of) that poem before, and never saw the original Hebrew version, so thanks for sharing this. :-)

One of my favourite poets is Yehuda Amichai, but I only really know him through translations of his works, especially the ones by Chana Bloch. Would be nice to understand some Hebrew.

Posted by: Andrea at Aug 24, 2005 1:39:03 PM

Wow, I read that post of yours as "2 years ago" for some reason. My apologies if I came across as callous. Now the poem feels, sadly, even more poignant...

Posted by: Andrea at Aug 24, 2005 1:55:07 PM

Thank you for this -- I've not read it before.

I think perhaps it should be:

"And suddenly the rock is shattered . . . "?

Posted by: SB at Aug 24, 2005 10:37:24 PM

Another side comment. I think you're using standard Haaretz links in this post which die after 2 wks. (as this one has). I recently learned a trick fr. a member of Yesh Gvul: if you click on the Printer Friendly link next to the article & use that link instead it won't die.

Would you happen to have a live link for the post you link to?

Posted by: Richard Silverstein at Sep 28, 2005 3:17:38 AM

Hanan: Thanks for posting this sad & tragic news. She was one of the GREAT ONES & among my favorite Israeli poets.

For some reason, I didn't hear about her death until today & found via google that you'd written about it. I've written my own post (linked here) which also contains a translation of one of my favorite poems of hers, Like Rachel.

Depression is a savage & terrible thing. In addition, her Haaretz obit reveals she suffered all her life from poverty of all things. Hard to imagine that one of Israel's greatest poets lived with so little. You'd think that something more could've been done for her.

Posted by: Richard Silverstein at Sep 28, 2005 3:22:18 AM

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