Travels Through Language: The Poetry of the Jerusalem Light Rail

This podcast is devoted to the poetry of the Jerusalem Light Rail. Each of the 23 stops of the Jerusalem Light Rail’s red line features a poem, translated into Arabic, Hebrew, and English. Some of the poems depict bodies in a state of fatigue, as if coming home from work during a daily commute. And some of them are about travel, and the tiny details of it — construed in a metaphysical as well as a physical sense. The beauty of the project is the insinuation that we travel via language, as well as via train, through landscapes, and through bodies, as in Samih Al-Qasim’s poem “Rain on the Newsstand,” translated from the Arabic by Idan Barir.

Here is “Rain on the Newsstand” by Samih Al-Qasim:

Sudden rain pouring on the morning papers
rain,
the ink flows from language to language
the mannequin’s features fade away from the cover
as does the face of an athlete proud of his trophy
the eyeliner melts in an actress’ eyes
the bloody red oozes
and wounds open
on the opinion page
the small newsstand shuts its doors
rain,
on the last issue.

 

Music:

רכבת לצפון – אסף אמדורסקי
רכבת לילה – משינה

Previous Episodes

Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90: The Jerusalem Light Rail seen driving past old abandoned buildings.

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