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On today’s episode, host Marcela Sulak reads poems about death and dying by Tamir Greenberg, translated by Tzippi Keller and found in Keller’s anthology, Poets on the Edge. An Anthology of Contemporary Hebrew Poetry. Here is an excerpt from Greenberg’s poem My Grandma Rachel, Age 15:

“‘Soon, my shadow will strike a small
pile of snow, and then I’ll turn fifteen.’
‘Sheets,’ says the nurse impatiently. ‘A pile of sheets.’
‘Marius, my love, will come to meet me near the fence
of the high-school for girls in Bucharest.’ Grandma laughs.
I was there already years ago.
It was before my shadow refused to freeze
on a small pile of snow, and when my love
kissed me, his sweet kiss blossomed
into my body like a rose petal,
and later, in my father’s wine cellars,
in the dim wine cellar, Marius threw me
to the floor, and when he tore my virginity
my right hand truck the tap of a barrel
and wine oozed onto the filthy floor.’

Tamir Greenberg was born in Tel Aviv in 1959, and heads the Architecture Department at Shenkar College. Also a playwright, his work has been staged at Habima – Israel’s national theater. He has also published two collections of poems: Self Portrait with Quantum and a Dead Cat, and The Thirsty Soul.

Text:
Tamir Greengerb. “Ode” and “My Grandma Rachel, Age 15” in Poets on the Edge. An Anthology of Contemporary Hebrew Poetry. SUNY Press, 2008.

Music:
Pure Imagination – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Dance Me to the End – Leonard Cohen
Purple Rain – Prince

Producer: Ariella Plachta
Technical producer: Tammy Goldenberg

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