The Flower of Anarchy: Selected Poems

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University of California Press, Oct 16, 2003 - Poetry - 168 pages
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Meir Wieseltier's verbal power, historical awareness, and passionate engagement have placed him in the first rank of contemporary Hebrew poetry. The Flower of Anarchy, a selection of Wieseltier's poems spanning almost forty years, collects in one volume, for the first time, English translations of some of his finest work. Superbly translated by the award-winning American-Israeli poet-translator Shirley Kaufman—who has worked with the poet on these translations for close to thirty years—this book brings together some of the most praised and admired early poems published in several small books during the 1960s, along with poems from six subsequent collections, including Wieseltier's most recent, Slow Poems, published in 2000.

Born in Moscow in 1941, Wieseltier spent the first years of his life, during the war, as a refugee in Siberia, then again in Europe. He settled in Tel-Aviv a few years after coming to Israel in 1949 and has lived there ever since. A master of both comedy and irony, Wieseltier has written powerful poems of social and political protest in Israel, poems that are painfully timeless. His voice is alternately anarchic and involved, angry and caring, trenchant and lyric.
 

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Contents

Kingchild
3
Weather
4
On Wonders
5
Ballad
6
Daddy and Mommy Went to the Movies Ilana Stays Alone in the Armchair Looking at a Gray Book
7
I saw three babyfaced Germans
8
The world is full of the righteous
9
Abraham
10
Garbage Dump 2000
77
Salt on the Wounds of the Land
79
To Be Continued
82
Exit to the Sea
83
The poet dressed up as an angel of God
84
Letter 1
87
Letter 2
88
Letter 3
90

Take a Look at My Rebels
11
Song of the Last Soldier
14
Poetry Swallowed
16
The Famous Peppers of Mrs Almozlino
17
Sometimes Macbeth
18
The Journey of the Great Egyptian Obelisk to the West
19
I Ask Myself
22
Take
27
Friends
28
A Request
29
Remembering
32
Isaacs Story
34
CallUp
38
Skywriting
39
Adoshem
41
Words for Music
43
Passengers
47
The Secret of Authority
48
In Camera
51
Every arm
53
Sealed in a Bottle
54
Wives of October
56
A dull khaki light comes down again
58
Fruit
60
March
61
The Illustrated Bible
62
A Dream of Death as an Angel
64
Ecology
66
from Earth Thoughts in Summer Flow
71
8 I gave my dog an old sandal
72
12 Naive Painting
73
16 There are many words I havent put down
74
Love Poem
75
Letter 4
92
Letter 16
93
Cities on Their Mounds
96
Pro Con
100
Against Making Blood Speak Out
102
Conversation with a Radio
103
Soliloquy of Dada the Cat
105
Output
109
Cheese
111
Musee Picasso or Some Words in Praise of Human Foolishness
113
Burning Holy Books
117
from Windows Near Mallarme
118
The Head
119
Window to the Future
120
River in the Desert
121
The Fowl of the Air
122
The Flower of Anarchy
123
Thin Livestock
125
Far from the Flag Parade
129
from Poems with a Dog
130
3 Death thoughtDog sprints
131
Rainy Love
132
The Man at the Piano
134
Jerusalem 3000
137
The TelAviv Subway
138
E P
140
In Paradise
141
On the Seventythree
142
A March for LongDistance Poets
144
The believer in what words can do
145
Notes
147
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About the author (2003)

Meir Wieseltier studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, published his first poems at the age of eighteen, and has won many literary awards, as well as the Israel Prize, his country's highest honor for lifetime achievement, awarded in 2000 by the Israeli establishment to its most anti-establishment poet. Shirley Kaufman, prize-winning American-Israeli poet and translator, has published eight volumes of her own poems, the two most recent of which are: Roots in the Air: New and Selected Poems (1996), and Threshold (2003). She has also published several books of translations from Hebrew of the works of Amir Gilboa and Abba Kovner, and from Dutch of the work of Judith Herzberg.

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