Gabriel Levin’s Essay on Robert Friend’s work


Edward Field’s Essay on Robert Friend


Anthony Rudolf’s Obituary and Tribute


Robert Friend’s poetry


Photos of Robert Friend


Feature of Friend’s work in a previous issue


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


Robert Friend’s translations. Copyright © Jean Shapiro Cantu


Contributor Notes

By Gabriel Preil (1911-1993)

Translated by Robert Friend



The Tired Hunter


Having written every kind of poem,

proud ones and shy ones,

weak ones and divinely wise ones,

your pen remains suspended

in the indifferent air,

even though the birds you once set flying

still sleep upon the cliffs,

and your colours

have not yet lost a sparkle of the kingdom.


Until you discover in the sharp light of noon

that the poems are only

blind arrows sent flying

to the heart of an imagined

eternal city

and you are only a hunter

who has at last grown tired.


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

Selected and with an Introduction by Gabriel Levin.

(The Toby Press, 2006)


Courteous  to Myself


For  Israel Goor


I was a boat at anchor

in a pink fishing village in Maine--

not a wood-chip floating  palely

in black Bronx waters.


Nailed to a seat  in a stagnant coffee shop,

sipping  cola through a  straw,

I ignore my patches.

I can at least be courteous to myself.


A suspicious cloud in my eyes,

I disregarded in Jerusalem

my title to nobility.

In New York I am a threadbare jacket

hanging on an old clothes-hanger.

From From Sunset Possibilities and Other Poems

(The Jewish Publication Society, 1985)