Offcourse Literary Journal
ISSN 1556-4975 

Two Poems, by Elisha Porat.


A Short Biography   (Translated by Asher Harris, June 2006)

"You're a dead horse", the publisher

told me, rejecting my poems,

"and it would cost too much to resuscitate you."

"He's as dead as a door nail",

the man from the Mobile ICU told my wife

when she begged for another electric shock.

"No way can he be resuscitated".

But I, 'doubly dead', am still

alive and pounding along 

in the saddle of my horses' memories.



Old Friends (Translated from the Hebrew by Cindy Eisner.)

This prickly rush, with whose spines

I stitched my tattered youth;

this weeping willow, played

by the wind on my secret ramblings;

this purple loosestrife, whose

pink flowers I placed on

a table for my love; they all

call to me along the path:  "Come,

join us, come, fade

with us into the moist morning mist."


"Don't wait for me," I

call out to them from my groaning memory,

"I am on my way, I'll be there

soon."  And on my return from the stream bank

I know:  They will wait,

I will come, my aging heart

is already there, with them, anticipating

me always by a few steps.




Elisha Porat says: Yes, it's a long long way from my small kibbutz, at the burning mideast - to the peaceful and cool of upstate New York. And thanks to the magic bridges of the poems - yes, the poems - the whole long long way becomes a short flesh of inspiration, touching and moving. Some time I am myself going to forget that the original poems were written in the Hebrew language...

Cindy Eisner, the translator of these poems, was born and raised in the U.S. and has lived in Israel since 1980. She is a computer scientist by training, and is a Research Staff Member at the IBM Haifa Research Laboratory in Haifa, Israel. Translating Elisha's poetry is her new hobby.



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