Oct 112012

As far as I can tell from Google, font of all the world’s information, Shlomo Zamir has not really been translated outside of a poem or two appearing in the odd collection. The biographical information online is pretty scanty even in Hebrew, but I did find and translate this:

An Israeli writer and poet, born in Iraq in 1929.

Zamir was educated in Jewish general education institutions – including the French “Alliance” school. He arrived in Israel in 1950.

Zamir is a product of different cultures: Anglo-American, French, Hebrew and Arabic. His own poetic style is close to imagist poetry, which demanded that poetry be liberated from rhyme, meter and traditional poetic forms, and instead be organized around images.

His poetry is quite varied in its themes and stands out for its colorfulness. The Israeli poet Hamutal Bar-Yosef1 said regarding his first book, “The Voice Behind the Branch”: “The special way in which Zamir constructs his works is what imparts to his poems their power and impressiveness for the reader…the words are simple, the sentence structure free, without surrendering to any predetermined external rhythm…the hand that produces the images is as steady as that of an arabesque artist.”

So there you go.

Shlomo Zamir (1929 – )
And When All Has Been Said

And when all has been said,
You’ll remain to be said;
And when, with violin, the last waltz has been sung,
You’ll remain to be sung.

I sense all your feelings and musings;
Sometimes, in my room, when a wound gapes in my body
and bleeds,
I know that your dress was torn.

שלמה זמיר
וכשנאמר הכל

וּכְשֶׁנֶאֱמַר הַכֹּל,
תִּשְׁתַּיְרִי אַתְּ לְהֵאָמֵר;
וּכְשֶׁיוּשַׁר בְּכִנוֹר הַוַאלְס הָאַחֲרוֹן,
תִּשְׁתַּיְרִי אַתְּ לְהוּשֵׁר.
אֲנִי חָשׁ בְּכָל רְגָשַׁיִךְ וְהִרְהוּרַיִךְ;
עִתִּים, בְּחֶדְרִי, כְּשֶׁנִפְעַר פֶּצַע בְּגוּפִי
וְשוֹתֵת דָם,
אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁשִׂמְלָתֶךְ נִקְרְעָה.


Ukh-she-ne’emár ha-kól
Tishtayerí ‘at lehei’améir;
Ukh-she-yushár be-khinór ha-váls ha-‘aḥarón,
Tishtayerí ‘at lehushéir.

‘Aní ḥash be-khól regasháyikh ve-hirhuráyikh;
ʕitím, be-ḥedrí, keshé-nifʕár pétzaʕ be-gufí
Ve-shotéit dam,
‘Aní yodéiʕa she-simlatéikh nikreʕah.

  1. I know her!

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