The Window: New and Selected Poems

Dahlia Ravikovitch, Author, Chana Bloch, Translator, Ariel Bloch, Translator
Dahlia Ravikovitch, Author, Chana Bloch, Translator, Ariel Bloch, Translator Sheep Meadow Press $10.95 (133p) ISBN 978-0-935296-82-2
Reviewed on: 06/01/1998
Release date: 06/01/1998
Hardcover - 120 pages - 978-0-935296-81-5
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This selection from the 30-year career of a noted Israeli writer is a welcome addition to the growing body of con temporary Hebrew poetry available in English translation. Sensitive renditions by Chana and Ariel Bloch capture both the cadence of the original Hebrew and its rich allusiveness. Erotic yearning permeates much of the poet's early work: ``I sank in a cloud of pleasure, / I sank, / I melted away. /No, I was drowned in the ocean, / there a man loved me.'' Later poems are replete with biblical imagery and with references to the history and geography of Israel. In the past decade, and especially since Israel's 1982 Lebanon War, Ravikovitch has become more politically engaged. Poignant protests against the conduct of that war are informed by moral outrage: ``By the sewage puddles of Sabra and Shatila, /there you transported human beings /in impressive quantities / from the world of the living to the world / of eternal light.'' And the wish to escape the prospect of war and its horrors is evoked in the pastoral poem ``New Zealand'': ``As for me, / He maketh me to lie down in green pastures / in New Zealand. / Sheep with soft wool, softer / than any wool, / graze there in the meadow.'' (May)
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