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With an Iron Pen


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Table of Contents Acknowledgments Preface to the English Edition: Translating and Translocating With an Iron Pen Rachel Tzvia Back Introduction: "Every Fear, Every Doubt, Every Protest" Tal Nitzan I. And the Land, Will You Possess It All? In Enemy Territory / Maxim Gilan Cry the Beloved Country / Ramy Ditzanny Palestina-Eretz Yisrael / Arik A. [Palestinian souls] / Dotan Arad We'll Build Our Homeland, for This Land Is Ours / Ramy Ditzanny Mice of the World, Unite! / Aharon Shabtai The Only Democracy (in the Middle East) / Rami Saari The Horizon's Clenched Mouth / Liat Kaplan Free Associating / Dahlia Ravikovitch II. The Arrogance of Our Self-Destruction A Small Song for the Fallen / Natan Zach Asteroid / Moshe Dor Sonnet: Against Making Blood Speak Out / Meir Wieseltier from Israeli Thoughts / Asher Reich Language / Natan Zach [Lice have conquered you] / Tuvia Ruebner Khan Younis / Tal Nitzan Woodcut of a Landscape / Dvora Amir At the Edges of the East / Oreet Meital Thursday at Angel's Bakery / Dahlia Falah The Night after the Surgeries / Dahlia Falah The Tel-Aviv Subway / Meir Wieseltier A Prayer to Allah Hashem God / David Avidan III. The Fruit Dies Before the Tree [This is not what we wanted] / Tuvia Ruebner Mite / Aryeh Sivan Torn / Tal Nitzan Ballad for an Old Palestinian / Dvora Amir To Dr. Majed Nassar / Aharon Shabtai The Story of the Arab Who Died in the Fire / Dahlia Ravikovitch The Observing Heart / Asher Reich Kaddish / Yitzhak Laor from And Who Will Remember the Rememberers? / Yehuda Amichai IV. The Hands-They Were the Hands of Soldiers Soldiers / Rami Saari Toy Soldiers / Aharon Shabtai The Letters' Rebellion / Zvi Atzmon Poem for Muhammad / Admiel Kosman Calf / Yitzhak Laor [The platoon left] / Tsvika Szternfeld Transparent / Ronny Someck There Is a God / Amir Or Execution / Gilad Meiri One Minute / Shai Dotan V. And If the Dead Is a Child, Will Someone Gather Him Up? To a Pilot / Aharon Shabtai I Protest / Aryeh Sivan Coke and Jeans / Yosef Ozer [Stripes of light on the wall] / Maya Bejerano Nur / Mei-Tal Nadler October 2000 / Oreet Meital The Love of Truth / Yitzhak Laor The Man Who Apparently Caused the Death of Hilmi Shusha / Dan Daor The Day of Blood / Sharron Hass A Mother Is Walking Around / Dahlia Ravikovitch Landscape with Fear in the Eye / Yitzhak Laor The Target / Tal Nitzan VI. He Who Demolishes a Person's Home Retinal Tear / Dvora Amir Written and Signed / Aryeh Sivan Fifteen Minutes to Khurban Ha'Bayit / Yoram Levi Porat The Fence / Aharon Shabtai Curfew, Variation #5 / Diti Ronen from The Olive / Avner Treinin There Is No One Here / Rachel Dana From the Songs of Tu B'Shevat-The Festival of Tree Planting / Avner Treinin Olive Tree / Agi Mishol [You've changed your name] / Gil Engelstein VII. Sing for Us from the Songs of Zion Our Captors Required of Us a Song / Dahlia Ravikovitch To the Muses / Agi Mishol Searching the Land / Rami Saari Pro & Con / Meir Wieseltier The Rising Pillar of Smoke / Ramy Ditzanny Lullaby / Dahlia Ravikovitch That / Ronny Someck The Reason to Live Here / Aharon Shabtai VIII. Things That Have No End [Oh, let the darkness cover our eyes!] / Tuvia Ruebner [The heart is parched] / Tuvia Ruebner With the Steel Point of a Thorn / Zvi Atzmon Now Is the Time / Liat Kaplan Victim Again / Tuvia Ruebner One from Here / Salman Masalha Song of Praise / Tamir Greenberg Call in the Snakes / Tali Latowicki Order of the Day / Yitzhak Laor Good Intentions / Natan Zach Everything Must Go Back / Rami Saari You and We / Meir Wieseltier (In Reply to the Question What Are You Still Doing Here) / Liat Kaplan Then We Didn't Yet Know / Dahlia Falah IX. What May Yet Heal from Houses (Plural); Love (Singular) / Yehuda Amichai from In a Collapsing House / Maxim Gilan Under the Olive Tree / Asher Reich Notes Biographical Notes Poets Translators Editors Index of First Lines Index of Poems by Poet

About the Author

Tal Nitzan has published three poetry collections, including Domestica and An Ordinary Evening. A preeminent translator of Spanish into Hebrew, she has translated over forty books and won numerous awards for her work. Rachel Tzvia Back, poet, scholar, and professor of literature, has translated many works from Hebrew, including the poetry of preeminent Hebrew poet Lea Goldberg published in Lea Goldberg: Selected Poetry and Drama. Her most recent poetry collection is On Ruins & Return. She lives in the Galilee, in the north of Israel.


"Bearing the shame, grief, anger, and hopelessness over the seemingly endless brutality and disproportionate violence of the occupation, the poems assemble a collective protest in a stylistically diverse and beautiful manner ... With an Iron Pen is a culmination of the evocative works of a growing minority demanding a serious examination of the moral core of Jewish tradition. It is in these works that poetry becomes a rebellious act that asserts the right of readers and writers to question, protest and rise up." - Outlook "With an Iron Pen ... contains 88 poems by 42 poets, and only one or two offerings failed to enchant ... [it] comes with a thoughtful introduction, in which the editors argue that it took 20 years after the 'awful victory' of the Six Day War for such protest poetry to become an identifiable genre." - Jerusalem Report "...illuminates the diversity of Israel's literary left." - Tablet "...a significant collection of protest poetry ... This collection presents poetry as prophecy, in the sense of giving voice to counter-cultural ideas and crying out against injustice ... the tone of the poems vary, but they work together as a whole, calling attention to questions, pain, and injustice." - Jewish Book World "...confronts profound literary questions for political poetry ... With an Iron Pen is replete with powerful works by Israel's finest poets." - Tikkun "These dissident Israeli voices, recognized and new, prophetic, raging, heartbroken, challenging, public and intimate, from the moral core of Jewish tradition, have gone almost unheard in America until now. The lyrical range is impressive, the edition scholarly; this is a historic collection." - Adrienne Rich

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