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  • Poems on the Seventh Day of Passover 2013, and: Midrash for Song of Songs 8:6–7
  • Galit Hasan-Rokem (bio)

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Poems on the Seventh Day of Passover 2013


Sometimesdeep in the oceana wave extends its hand to anotherwave and the wide depthsecho then the words"Friendship conquers all."


Morning enters the bedroomthrough the slits of the green iron shutterspeaking birdishand dismantlingpiece by piece my dreamwhere I almost touched you againwhere you almost told me somethingyou didn't get to say before we parted.The day begins like a mirror imageon standing waters.A light wind unsettles it.Life goes on.

Translated from Hebrew by the poet [End Page 61]

[End Page 62]

Midrash for Song of Songs 8:6–7

Love is strong as death, passion is fierce as the graveIts burns cannot be rubbed outMany waters cannot above all since the waterIs boiling and the girl very small her step still wobblySomeone has to stretch out a handHas to protect her from herselfFalling into the boiling waterSomeone has to give all the wealthWillingly be laughed to scornSomeone must be a mighty flameMany waters cannot quench the burnsThe girl wobbles in her fateSo the grave opened her tender soul so wideOpened its endless gorgeMany waters cannot fillPersimmon riversWill not sate, mighty flameWill not light up the dark of her graveWhen you pass through the watersI will be with you, I see your burnsI see the grave gorge endlessWobble to me I stretch out my handSeeing your persimmon oilI hear, the rivers will not overwhelm you,Little girl strong as death, fierce as the grave [End Page 64]

Galit Hasan-Rokem

Galit Hasan-Rokem, born in Finland, is Professor Emerita of Folklore and Hebrew Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has published in Hebrew and other languages. Her English works include The Web of Life: Folklore and Midrash in Rabbinic Literature (Stanford University Press, 2000) and Tales of the Neighborhood: Jewish Narrative Dialogues in Late Antiquity (University of California Press, 2003). Many of the poems from her three volumes of poetry in Hebrew (1989, 1998, and 2003) have been translated into English in online journals. Her translations into Hebrew include works by two Swedish Nobel laureates, Harry Martinson's Aniara (2016) and Tomas Tranströmer's Collected Poems, 1954–2004 (2011). Hasan-Rokem is a founding editorial-board member and cultural editor of the Palestine-Israel Journal.


"Midrash for Song of Songs 8:6–7" was translated from Hebrew by the poet. This poem was first published in Hebrew in Shi'ur befituaḥkol (Voice Training) in 1998.



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