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Gabriel Levin’s Essay on Robert Friend’s work

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Edward Field’s Essay on Robert Friend

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Anthony Rudolf’s Obituary and Tribute

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Robert Friend’s poetry

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Photos of Robert Friend

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Feature of Friend’s work in a previous issue

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Robert Friend’s essay on Translating Rachel at www.poetryinternationalweb.net

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Robert Friend’s translations. Copyright © Jean Shapiro Cantu
jeanshapirocantu@gmail.com

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Contributor Notes





Haim Nachman Bialik (1873-1934)

Translated by Robert Friend

 

At twilight

 

Come to the window

now that the sun is dying.

Wind your arms about me

till we blend into one.

 

So linked, we shall lift our gaze

to the terrible brilliance,

and release our thoughts

into that blazing sea,

 

and they in a bird-like rustle

of wings will soar

into the distant heavens

and be seen no more,

 

until, still flying,

they descend at last

on purple crags

and radiant islands.

 

Those are the distant islands,

the high worlds we saw in dream,

but they made strangers of us

and our lives a misery.

 

Those are the golden islands

that we longed for

as one longs for a homeland,

which all the stars of night

 

pointed to, led us to,

with trembling rays of light.

and we have been abandoned

on those islands,

 

with no companions, no friends—

two flowers of the wilderness,

two lost seeking a world lost

without end, without end.

 

 

From Found in Translation: Modern Hebrew Poets, a Bilingual Edition

Selected and with an Introduction by Gabriel Levin.

(The Toby Press, 2006)