Tag Archives: Gili Haimovich

Nurit Zarchi

Nurit Zarchi (author)  is one of the leading authors in Israel. She had published poetry, novels, short stories, essays and over 100 books for children. She has received every major Israeli award for her poetry, children and youth literature, including the Prime Minister’s Prize twice (1980; 1991), the Ze’ev Prize (five times), the Education Minister’s Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2005), the Landau Prize for Poetry (2013), the Devorah Omer Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2014) and the Arik Einstein Prize (2015).


Gili Haimovich (translator) is a poet and translator published internationally. She had translate into Hebrew poets such as Fiona Samson, Lois Michel Unger, Micael Dikel and Dara Barnat and some Israeli poets into English. Her translations and poetry appear or forthcoming in journals such as Poetry International, World Literature Today, International Poetry ReviewPoem – International English Language Quarterly, Asymptote, LRC – Literary Review of Canada, Recours au Poème, Drain Magazine, Mediterranean Poetry. She had had published a poetry collection in English titled Living on a Blank Page (Blue Angel Press, 2008) and in six volumes of poetry in Hebrew. Her last book Landing Lights came out earlier this year and won a grant in Israel as did her previous book Baby Girl. Gili works also as a writing focused arts therapist and educator.


There was a reason or two
That detained me from discovering America

Other than the storms, fear of deep water
And a couple of sailors omitted on the island,

Other than the mice scampering on the deck
Those who are called rats in realistic literature
Except in the fine print –

I always felt the ship was drowning
Maybe that’s why I sided
With the Indians, the Spaniards 
And handed chocolate to
The girls in the army’s prison.

But secretly I too coveted the Cajamarca gold
I too dreamed of exploring wonderful countries
Like when I found out what’s what –
While it’s already late –
And I’m here.


* By Nurit Zarchi from her book Abel will Kiss Me, The Bialik Institute Publishers, 2013

Gili Haimovich

Translator’s Note:

Gili Haimovich and I are fortunate to have developed a creative collaboration in which I translate her poetry to English and she translates mine to Hebrew. The process is engaging and dynamic. Part of the pleasure of translating Gili’s poetry from Hebrew is discovering the complexity within its simplicity. One of the challenges is to capture the emotional impact and musicality of her straightforward language and often short lines (“Something has to break”). I attempt to convey the “voice” of her poems – a voice that is at once observational, confessional, conversational, and witty. These poems, from the 2014 book Tinoket (Baby Girl), explore the dual roles of wife and mother. The poems offer a satisfying confrontation with shades of life experience – from the light (the baby girl is a “small sun”), to the dark (“I show you in pantomime I’m hurting”), and all that’s in between.


Gili-HaimovichGili Haimovich (author) is an internationally published poet. She has five volumes of poetry in Hebrew and a collection of poems in English titled Living on a Blank Page (Blue Angel Press, 2008). Her work appears or is forthcoming in journals and anthologies such as Poetry International, International Poetry Review, LRC – Literary Review of Canada, Asymptote, Recours au Poème (with translations to French), Poetry Repair, Bakery, TOK1: Writing the New Toronto, Ezra Magazine, Deep Water, Bridges: A Jewish Feminist Journal, Women in Judaism, Lilith, and other journals. Gili works as a translator as well as an interdisciplinary arts therapist and educator.


BarnatDara Barnat (translator) is a poet with poetry, translations, and essays appearing in The Cortland Review, Poet Lore, Ha’aretz, Lilith, Los Angeles Review of Books, Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. Her collection of poetry In the Absence is forthcoming from Turning Point in 2016. Dara holds a PhD from Tel Aviv University where she is currently teaching. darabarnat.com


Signing a Place

Something has to break,
we just don’t know what.
The house,
the country,
the child?
No, just not the child.
So then what?

All that’s left between us are gestures.
I massage you
in pantomime,
you sign it’s pleasant.
Sometimes I don’t see your signs,
you’re with your back to me.

I show you in pantomime I’m hurting.
You assign that to be phantom pain.





What Lights Up the Sky

I am solar powered,
but now I have you and our baby girl.
I have to pull you all
outside, on my back,
just to be charged.
And our baby girl, she is a small sun,
I am a slightly larger sun,
and you are the moon.
These alone light up the sky.
None other than them but darkness?

I need to carve my way outside,
through the dark corners of the house,
labyrinths of laundry,
waterfalls of milk and tears,
to be charged by solar power
that will go through me
to our baby girl,
but not scorch you.
These alone light up the sky,
none other than us but darkness.


GiliHaimovich_What Lights Up the Sky