- Lea Goldberg: Selected Poetry and Drama
Lea Goldberg was born in Prussia and immigrated to Palestine in 1935 where she was a successful award-winning poet, a beloved children's author, dramatist, theater critic, translator and editor, and established Hebrew University's Department of Comparative Literature. This collection features poetry from her main works, as well as her play Lady of the Castle. Her poetry is concise, simple, and clear, and, as translator Back explains in the introduction is "…searingly honest, intimate and bare. Her poems are of desire and unrequited love, of longing for landscapes—geographic and temporal—that are lost forever, of an immigrant's divided identity and sense of dislocation, of nature that is often unforgiving but always wonderous…" We see all that captured in so many poems, such as "A Nameless Journey": "And the rain falls and does not wet my hands./And I am here, wholly here—/in a foreign city/in the heart of a great foreign homeland."
Included in this anthology too is the play Lady of the Castle, first produced in Tel Aviv's Cameri Theater in 1956. The play on one hand is of a familiar topic and theme, especially for its time frame: saving Jewish children who had been hidden during the war. Here a Jewish child is hidden by a non-Jewish caretaker of a castle. However, it is a deeper more timeless play too, as described in the introduction, [End Page 152] "…the essence of the conflict is in the uncompromising contrast between two different spiritual-intellectual worlds," of the past pre-war and the present and future world to be.