Contemporary Hebrew Poetry Translations by Mel Rosenberg by Mel Rosenberg - מל רוזנברג -
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Contemporary Hebrew Poetry Translations by Mel Rosenberg

After fruitful careers as a scientist and inventor I've gone back to what I love most - writing children's books Read More
  • Joined Oct 2013
  • Published Books 1543

Natan Yonatan 


Last wave


Last wave of darkness

First tremor of light

His face clouded by time

And I with all my strength clutching

At memory’s crumbs

Directing my heart to the place

I saw him leave

For the last time



That sorrow in his eyes

Turning his back on me

Climbing into the car

Releasing the brakes

And the shame breaking me

For eternity









I left you one photo

Do not misunderstand

There is no hint of apples nor the snake

That garden is as pure as tears

This man has not a woman known.

I left you a photo

In which you see him

Posing a painful question

And disappearing




He was always sewing himself

Shrouds, measuring

The distance to the grave

He must pass

Until that malignant morning

Which left him




There are Flowers


Have you ever seen such beauty

In the trembling autumn breeze?

A golden field at twilight

Casting candles in the trees.


Have you ever seen such crimson

Crying out to distant towers?

A field of blood was there once,

Now a field of poppy flowers.



Don’t you pick, my child, there are flowers which

Appear, and then are gone,

There are flowers which forever

Live within a song.


Have you seen the ash there?

It’s a field of thorns, my son,

Abandoned all the summer,

Now the ploughing has begun.


Have you looked and seen how white, child,

This field of tears and pain?

Its tears have turned to stones,

Its stones to flowers again.


Don’t you pick, my child, there are flowers that

Appear, and then are gone,

There are flowers that forever

Live within a song.


November Rains


And winter is near again. How will you manage?

Can you cross the wet boulevards and pass

The cold nights? This mist in my soul

Sometimes more heavy than gold and the earth

Breathing sorrow from the day it gathered

What I fear to call by name but

You  know and the November rains pouring down

Without end. How I worried about the child, about

His not getting wet and look what is happening this year

To these the hands and to this the heart

Which so suddenly gave way


Like a Ballad


If a crown of thorns

Is what you fancy,

I’ll head for the wilderness

There to learn pain.

If you favor poems,

Hewn only in stone –

I’ll write on the cliffs

Until my strength wanes.


And then when we lie

With the sands, in the darkness,

And night and time cover

The book of deeds,

Whisper words

More beautiful than happiness or sorrow;

I guess he did love me

That man, indeed.




You who remined in the fire’s wake

Remember the touch of the final flash

In the waves of evening, the scorched thorns

In his eyes and the fading light

With his love turning into


And his heart a king

The heart of a deserted king


 Yaakov Besser


The little prince grows old


Perhaps this is it.

I’ve had my fill. Done

What I have done

No need to carry on.

I have given the words their due, love

Hers. And as for me?

I am become poet of the kingdom,

Where two reign by night and one by day.



In my sleep – I dream within me. By day –

The dream dies. Towards evening the king ascends

To light the lanterns

Hanging on a low cloud. And the flame, like life itself,

Sealed within the glass.





Mouth to mouth


We come and we go

And meet over the doorstep as if

On the edge of earth

We stand and we move on

And the darkness between us


How we

Blindly pass black ice

From mouth to mouth.


The language in the land of Israel


My mother’s mouth is soft

Like the cry of guilt-feelings

Wild flesh between my mother’s lips

A trembling and moist wolf cub

In a woodland winter. She drops him

And gathers him up, nibbling

At his fur, purring whispers at his ear.


Wherever I go, whenever I run,

Whatever distance draws us apart, I knew

Her whispers would grow into guilt-feelings


Here in the land of Israel, the Hebrew tongue no longer

Takes her into account; the words fall

Tasteless from her lips

Her weakened tongue rolls a wheelchair in her hands

As she turns words

From Yiddish into Hebrew


Stones in a treacherous field. Scorpions

At their moist sides. They approach with yellow tongues

Guilt-feelings, hanging themselves on her tongue.











Israel Bar Kohav


A man sleeps


A man sleeps into bed

Like a carp without creasing the sheets,

Too humble and modest to be alive.




Man and mate in motions of hate

From the hate hanging in the room

You could sculp a child.




The garbage can man

Takes down the garbage can

From fear of his wife in the night,

Even if he escapes to the bathroom

To indulge his hands with soap the stench

Of the garbage rising from his soul

Will not leave him.




Doctors of dexterity

Easily remove the pus

Which we have nurtured for years.


In the garden of Maidens


In the garden, Maidens outwitting their beaus will

Become mothers

The beaus will grow into briefcase bearers,

Bearers of their own stretchers.











Azriel Kaufman




The heat wave passed

Leaving high thorns

Heaving the winds

Kindling in the trees

The chill of charcoal





Imprisoned within white dunes

Fading from

The Nile

The desert

The dream.


The Earth


The earth opens

Wisdom gates

For the possible intent

In descending order.


Half My Lust


Half my lust

Will rest in those

Who come after me to fill the squares.


I, For Example, Fear


I, for example, fear

Those who see in me

Fixed dimensions

Of earth.


Every Morning


Every morning

I touch

The ladder railing –

Someone approaches

In thin light…


My Father


Like the revolving sword

My father protects me

From coming to the dust


The Words Fall


(The) words fall fast

(at any rate they do not last)

Except for this small stain

Of broadcast.


Thank you for reading my book!

If you enjoyed it, you might also want to read:


“גם באיל הנמלט”


Read more about me and see ALL my books on Ourboox (I have many)

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And finally, you can always write me at

[email protected]

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