Tag Archives: Esrim Ne’arot LeKane

Orit Gidali

A Note on Orit Gidali’s Work:
Orit Gidali’s poetry transforms a common word or gesture into a multi-dimensional experience by playing upon a word’s lineage and range of meaning. “Beloved” is composed in the language of the Song of Songs, and to achieve a similar echo in English, I used the language of the King James Bible. “Note” refers to the religious prohibition of combining milk and meat in a single meal.

 

Orit Gidali is an Israeli poet. “Note” and “My Beloved” originally appeared in the collection Esrim Ne’arot LeKane [Twenty Girls to Envy Me(Sifriat Poalim, Tel Aviv, 2003).  Gidali is also the author of Smikhut [Closing In(2009), and the children’s book Noona Koret Mahshavot [Noona the Mindreader] (2007). Her books are currently the top-selling poetry in Israel.

 

 

Photo Credit by Bill Wolff

Marcela Sulak (translator) is the author of two collections of poetry, Immigrant (Black Lawrence Press, 2010) and the chapbook Of all the things that don’t exist, I love you best (2008). She has translated three collections of poetry from 19th century Czech and from Congolese French. Her poetry and essays are forthcoming in such journals as Guernica, Black Warrior Review, Cimmaron Review, The Journal, and Iowa Review. She directs the Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Bar-Ilan University, where she is a senior lecturer.


My beloved

by Orit Gidali (translated by Marcela Sulak)

Filled were my days with suns.
Filled were my days with love.
When he comes to the door I will open to him
and I will be wet loam.
*
The balcony of my body is rosemary for him
and he, clusters of vines.
Sometimes, in the darkness, before his sleep,
I hear a grape opening.
*
Behold, here he arrives at the gate,
he removes the breastplate of his clothing
set with shards from the floor of our house.
*
He kisses me and permits me
to lay my ribs
in the space between his ribs.
I return to him.

B.
He poeticizes our sated bodies
in the ears of friends.
They hear and are burned
as one who imagines the taste of a lemon.

Then he waves goodbye.
The movement of his hand caresses from afar
all the organs of my body.

C.
He kisses my extended hand,
fingers like the lashes of an eyelid.
He is a man who holds an etrog,
he brings his nose close to smell it.
*
My beloved who found a woman,
he looked for and found her in himself.
She is beautiful, she is more beautiful than I.
*
A well is full of lace,
fine lace, my love.
When my hands roll away the rock
the white light spills out.

 

Note

by Orit Gidali (translated by Marcela Sulak)

My beloved wakes up,
my body warm on him,
meat mixes with milk.