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A Soldier

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An arrow in the heart of the gonorrheal sun
that falls into the sea over Tel Aviv
discharging its greasy trail. A powerful red.
And mother in the cramped kitchen.
A small painting. You write on the postcard, send it
to the land of Goshen before you, from and to yourself. Go,
you say, go, dove, away from here.

Through the frame-like window:
the melting seconds of your longing
in the brown of a military shirt and pants
trickle backwards to the ground, like a cruel
clock, young soldier, in the palm of a hand.
[1988]

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Author Image

Admiel Kosman was born in Haifa, Israel, and has lived in Germany since 2003. He is the author of nine poetry books and the bilingual Hebrew-English selection, Approaching You in English (translated by Lisa Katz with Shlomit Naim-Naor) and four academic books on Talmud and Midrash, two of which have appeared in English: Men’s World: Reading Masculinity in Jewish Stories in a Spiritual Contextand Gender and Dialogue in the Rabbinic Prism. Mosman is a religious studies professor at Potsdam University, and the academic director of the Geiger Rabbinical Seminary, Berlin. A comprehensive interview was published by Poetry International Rotterdam in 2011. Photo credit: Pieter Vandermeer / Tineke de Lange.

Lisa Katz (b. New York) earned her PhD at Hebrew University. Her chapbook Are You With Me (Finishing Line) is forthcoming in June. Reconstruction, her poetry in Hebrew translation, was published by Am Oved Press in Israel in 2008. Editor of the Israeli pages of Poetry International Rotterdam, and an occasional book reviewer for the English edition of Haaretz, Katz is translator of Hannan Hever’s recently published study of Hebrew poetry, Suddenly, the Sight of War: Violence and Nationalism in Hebrew Poetry in the 1940sand poetry volumes by Tuvia Ruebner, Admiel Kosman, and Agi Mishol. Katz will teach literary translation at Ben Gurion University in 2016-2017.

Feature image by Tsibi Geva, whose work was exhibited in the Israel Pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale. Untitled, 2014. © Tsibi Geva.

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