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Paperback Flowers of Perhaps Book

ISBN: 1592642152

ISBN13: 9781592642151

Flowers of Perhaps

What may be most remarkable about the poetry of Rachel is that it remained fresh in its simplicity and inspiration for more than 70 years. Now, because of Robert Friend's own ability to as a poet and a temperment congenial with hers, his translations allow English readers to understand why Rachel is so highly esteemed. This classic is now reissued in a new bilingual edition. the original Hebrew poems appearing next to Friend's superlative translations.Rachel...


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Jewish poetry fans who have not the time to learn Hebrew rejoice

Jewish poetry fans who have not the time to learn Hebrew rejoice, as "Flowers of Perhaps" has been masterfully translated into English by Robert Friend. Ra'Hel is a Russian Jew who was one of the earlier movers to Palestine. Her poems speak of her times, an important time for Jews around the world. A bilingual anthology, "Flowers of Perhaps" places both Hebrew and English texts side by side, and is certain to please readers who appreciate poetry with historical value. "Pride commanded...": Pride commanded: with my own hands...//With my own hands/I broke the thread/I burnt the bridge,/and into the heart of an infant joy/I thrust the knife.../with my own hands.

Only what I have lost is what I posses forever

Perhaps part of the thematic appeal of Ra'hel's (Hebrew) poetry is that they lament the passing of a Zionist dream which, ironically, was in full flower during her lifetime, but is very much dead today. Ra'hel was forced by ill-health from her beloved kibbutz on the Sea of Galilee for medical treatment, and spent much of her short life seeking cures, only to die at the age of 41. Her poems are sufficed with a longing for that lost land on the Galilee, the dream of agrarian Zionism which fueled so much of the early part of the movement. In this collection there is her most famous poem extolling the virtue of redeeming the land, and her inability to do so, `To my country," and many other lesser known poems which exploit a similar theme. The other overriding concern of this collection is lost personal love. These two themes, the frustrated promise of national reclamation through working the soil, and individual love lost, suffuse Ra'hel's verse with a radiant sense of loss and wonder. In this bilingual translation readers can have a go at the Hebrew and see the translator's choices. For example, in the last poem `My Dead' Ra'hel's line `B'rith emet hi lanu' is translated `A true pact is ours' a diluting of the religious connotation of the word b'rith, also translatable as covenant. In general, these translations are loose, keeping to the sense of the poems and not a word for word correspondence. This makes for a fluid and vivid read, giving English readers a sense of the magic of Ra'hel's daring poetic style.

sad, imaginative, unusual poetry

For those unfamiliar with Rachel, she is a beloved poet in Israel. Her poems are short, succinct, lyrical and personal -- and very, very difficult to translate. This is not a line-by-line translation but a beautiful rendering of her meaning, for the first time available in English, I believe. If you read Emily Dickinson or Elizabeth Bishop, this is for you.
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