Showing posts from March, 2007


by Samih al-Qasim

The day I'm killed
my killer will find
tickets in my pockets:
One to peace,
one to fields and the rain,
and one
to humanity's conscience. I beg you--please don't waste them.
I beg you, you who kill me: Go.

End of a Talk with a Jailer

by Samih al-Qasim
From the narrow window of my small cell,
I see trees that are smiling at me
and rooftops crowded with my family.
And windows weeping and praying for me.
From the narrow window of my small cell--
I can see your big cell!

"As we were marching"

by Aharon Shabtai

Two days ago in Rafi'ah,
nine Arabs were killed,
yesterday six
were killed in Hebron,
and today -- just two.
Last year
as we were marching
from Shenkin Street,
a man on a motorcycle
shouted toward us:
"Death to the Arabs!"

You can read interviews with three Israeli poets on The News Hour's website.

the beginning of a difficult poem

by Agi Mishol
(taken from a segment on "The News Hour" on PBS)

You are only twenty
and your first pregnancy is a bomb.
Under your broad skirt you are pregnant with dynamite
and metal shavings. This is how you walk in the market,
ticking among the people, you, Andaleeb Takatka.
Someone loosened the screws in your head
and launched you toward the city;
even though you come from Bethlehem,
the House of Bread, you chose a bakery.
And there you pulled the trigger out of yourself,
and together with the Sabbath loaves,
sesame and poppy seed,
you flung yourself into the sky.


by Richard Wilbur
In any company, he listens hard For signs of vanity and self-regard Reacting to each name that’s dropped, to each Complacent anecdote or turn of speech With subtle indications of surprise— A wince, perhaps, a widening of the eyes, Or a slight lifting of the brow, addressed To the egomaniac within his breast.