Poems by Israel Eliraz

Translated from the Hebrew by Liat Simon



Raising a glass, looking at its thickness, you

see faint rain


and golden light dust scattered

on the tips of your shoes.


With a graceful kick, utterly

none coincidental, you


let go, you say:


Nothing exists unless

it is discovered by you



מַגְבִּיהָה כּוֹס, מַבִּיטָה בְּעָבְיָהּ, אַתְּ

רוֹאָה גֶּשֶׁם דַּק


וְאַבְקַת אוֹר זְהֻבָּה מִתְפַּזֶּרֶת

.עַל קְצוֹת נְעָלַיִךְ


בִּבְעִיטָה חִנָּנִית, לְגַמְרֵי

לֹא מִקְרִית, אַתְּ


:מַשְׁמִיטָה, אַתְּ אוֹמֶרֶת


דָּבָר אֵינוֹ קַיָּם אֶלָּא כְּדֵי

שֶׁיִּתְגַּלֶּה עַל יָדְךָ



I bend over till I find

the moist smoking

curl of the entrance.


At my age I look for

every crumb


like a partridge


and keep asking all the time


i s   t h a t   i t   o r   i s   i t   p o s s i b l e

t o   h a v e   m o r e   a n d   i n   a   d i f f e r e n t   m a n n e r



אֲנִי מִתְכּוֹפֵף עַד שֶׁאֲנִי מוֹצֵא

אֶת תַּלְתַּל הַמָּבוֹא

.הַלַּח, הֶעָשֵׁן


בְּגִילִי אֲנִי מְחַפֵּשׂ

כָּל פֵּרוּר


כְּמוֹ חָגְלָה


וְשׁוֹאֵל כָּל הַזְּמַן


זֶ ה וּ   א וֹ   אֶ פְ שָׁ ר

ע וֹ ד   וְ אַ חֶ רֶ ת


Note. The Hebrew poems were originally published in How Much Time is Left is Not a Question but a Door by Israel Eliraz, Modan/Helicon, 2013.


Israel Eliraz (1936-2016) was born in Jerusalem. From 1963 to 1980, he published three novels, a book of short stories and a number of plays and opera librettos. He started writing poetry in 1980. He was the recipient of numerous Israeli literary awards, as well as an Honorary Citation by the French government. His poetry was translated into 11 languages.



Liat Simon was born in Tel Aviv in 1976. She is a poet, a journalist and an editor, and is a seasoned content manager, specializing in arts and culture. Her poems were featured in various Israeli newspapers and literary magazines. Her first poetry book, Three Times Around the Sun, has received The Yehoshua Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts grant.


Back to Table of Contents