I want to be awakened from our love

Language: Hebrew
Poet: Gilli Haimovich
Translator: Dara Barnat

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I want to be awakened from our love

Two poems by Gili Haimovich translated by Dara Barnat

These translations from Hebrew of “The Perfect Set” and “Too Easy” are part of an ongoing collaboration between Gili Haimovich and myself. My translations of Gili’s poetry can be found in journals including Bridges: A Jewish Feminist JournalInternational Poetry ReviewPoetry International, and Blue Lyra. Gili’s translations of my poetry to Hebrew appear in ShvoMakaf, and other Hebrew-language publications. 

“Too Easy” is from Gili’s last book Baby Girl, Emda Publishers, 2014, and “The Perfect Set” is from Lint Season, Pardes Publishers, 2011.

Dara Barnat

Gili Haimovich is a poet published in both Hebrew and English. She has five volumes of poetry that have come out in Israel, and her sixth book titled Lending Lights is forthcoming later this year (Iton 77 Publishing House). Her chapbook of poems in English titled Living on a Blank Page (Blue Angel Press, 2008), came out in two additions, the second one also includes Gili’s photography. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in journals and anthologies such as Poetry InternationalInternational Poetry ReviewLRC – Literary Review of CanadaAsymptoteRecours au Poème (with translations to French), Poetry RepairBlue Lyra, BakeryTOK1: Writing the New TorontoEzra MagazineDeep WaterBridges: A Jewish Feminist JournalWomen in JudaismLilith, and main Israeli literary journals. Gili works as a translator, writing-focused arts therapist, and educator.

Dara Barnat’s poetry, translations, and essays appear in The Cortland ReviewPoet LoreHa’aretzCrab Orchard ReviewLilithBlue LyraBridges: A Jewish Feminist JournalThe Los Angeles Review of BooksWalt Whitman Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. Her collection of poetry In the Absence is forthcoming from Turning Point later in 2016. In 2009 she received a work-study scholarship from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Dara holds a PhD from Tel Aviv University, where she is Writing Director in the Department of English and American Studies. darabarnat.com

The Perfect Set

Weary of looking at me
when you leave,
I will let you go gently without a word.

Yak-Mountain in Youngbyon—
the azalea blossoms—
I will gather armfuls and spread them on your way.

Step after step,
on the petals that lie before you,

tread softly as you go.

Weary of looking at me,

when you leave,

even though I die of sadness, I will not let my tears fall.

הַסֵּט הַמֻּשְׁלָם

.הָאַהֲבָה שֶׁלָּנוּ יוֹתֵר מִדַּי מַתְאִימָה לָרִהוּט

.וְהִיא נִשְׁמַעַת בְּאֵיכוּת סְרָאוּנְד עַל רֶקַע גֵּ ‘אז מָהָגוֹנִי

הָאַהֲבָה שֶׁלָּנוּ לֹא קוֹרַעַת

,הִיא תּוֹפֶרֶת

.וְגַם בָּזֶה יֵשׁ מִנְּעִיצוֹת הַמַּחַט בַּבָּשָׂר הַחַי

.מְדַמָּה אוֹתָן לַצְּבִיטוֹת שֶׁמּוֹכִיחוֹת שֶׁזֶּה לֹא חֲלוֹם

.חֲבָל שֶׁאֲנִי לֹא יְכוֹלָה לְהָקִיץ מֵאַהֲבָתֵנוּ

הָאַהֲבָה שֶׁלָּנוּ יוֹתֵר מִדַּי מַתְאִימָה לַצַּלָּחוֹת

.שֶׁקָּנְתָה לָנוּ אִשְׁתּוֹ הַשְּׁלִישִׁית שֶׁל אָבִיךָ

אֲבָל הִיא לֹא טְעִימָה עִם מָה

.שֶׁמִּתְבַּשֵּׁל עַל הַכִּירַיִם

Too Easy

The night carries me
but not like a promise,
not like how I carried you,
in the stomach,
on the chest,
the back,
the neck,
on the head of my joy,
on the shoulders of my concern.
through swirling snow.

The poems come
almost too easily,
it’s almost too easy,
too obvious,
being your mother,
belonging to you.

קלה מידיי

הַלַּילְָה נוֹשֵׂא אוֹתִי
,אֲבָל לֹא כְּהַבְטָחָה
,לֹא כְּשֵׁם שֶׁאֲנִי נָשָׂאתִי אוֹתָךְ
,בַּבֶּטֶן
,עַל הֶחָזֶה
,הַגַּב
,הַכְּתֵפַיִם
,עַל ראֹשׁ שִׂמְחָתִי
,עַל צַוַּאר דַּאֲגָתִי
.בְּשֶׁלֶג סוֹחֵף
הַשִּׁירִים בָּאִים
.כְּמוֹ קַלִּים מִדַּי

,כִּמְעַט קַל מִדַּי
,מוּבָן מִדַּי מֵאֵלָיו
,לִהְיוֹת אִמָּא שֶׁלָּךְ
.לִהְיוֹת שַׁיּכֶֶת לָךְ