Ronny Someck, a poet of Tel Aviv – Israel in Translation

Host Marcela Sulak traces the life of poet Ronny Someck, from his origins in Baghdad to Israeli transit camps to Tel Aviv, through his poetry.

Life in the transit camps in the 1950s was difficult, as described in the poem ‘Poverty Line,’ in which Someck says, “The only line I saw was the horizon and under it everything / looked poor.”

He went on to study Hebrew Literature and Philosophy at Tel Aviv University. At 63 he now lives in Ramat Gan, and has been called “a poet of Tel Aviv” for poems like ‘Seven Lines on the Miraculous Yarkon,’ from which Marcela reads today.

Someck’s poetry has been translated into 41 languages, and it’s won the Prime Minister’s Award and the Yehuda Amichai Award. He’s recorded three CDs with the musician Elliot Sharp, and has published two children’s books with his daughter, Shirley.

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Keys to the Garden: New Israeli Writing. Edited by Ammiel Alcalay. San Fransico: City Lights Press, 1996.

Further reading:

The Fire Stays in Red: Poems by Ronny Someck, translated by Moshe Dor and Barbara Goldberg. University of Wisconsin Press, 2002.



Salima Murad Pasha – This is not just on your behalf

‘Poverty Line’ by Ronny Someck, sung by Hanan Yovel

‘Glida’ by Ronny Someck, sung by Talma for The Middle East Project

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