Thursday, 11 July 2013

POET OF THE MONTH #7: Esther Granek





They co-exist inside me.
Battling each other without being seen:

The past the present
The future and now
Illusion and truth
Gloominess and gaiety
Idiocy rationality
And the 'yes's' and the 'no's'
The love of my body
The disgust that it gives me
The facades that one creates
And what lies behind them
And the fears one swallows
The courage one spreads so thin
The desire to say 'Tut-tut'
And the demands of the struggle
And humanity and beastliness
And the gut and the head
Sensuality and virtue
The hidden and the exposed
Kindness and severity
Prudishness and vulgarity
The talker the stifled one
Bravery and fearfulness
And pride and spinelessness

Despite all that I am alone. 

                                                                                             Ballads and Reflections (1978)

Translated by BR
See below for original French text

The Poet: Esther Granek was born in the Belgian capital of Brussels on 7 April 1927.  Forced to educate herself because the racial laws implemented by the occupying Nazis forbade Jews from attending Belgium's schools and universities, she has lived in Israel since 1956, where she worked for thirty-five years as a secretary at the Belgian embassy in Tel Aviv.  She has published five collections of poetry – the most recent of which, titled Synthéses, appeared in 2009. 

To my knowledge, none of the work of Belgian/Israeli poet ESTHER GRANEK has been published in English translation.  Please click HERE to read Contradictions and all her other wonderful poems (alas, only in their original French) at the excellent poetry website Un Jour, Un Poème.  

You might also enjoy:
POET OF THE MONTH #2: Marianne Moore
POET OF THE MONTH #3: Wislawa Szymborska
POET OF THE MONTH #9: Julian Tuwim


Ils cohabitent en moi.
Se battent sans qu’on le voie:

Le passé le présent
Le futur et maintenant
L’illusion et le vrai
Le maussade et le gai
La bêtise la raison
Et les oui et les non
L’amour de ma personne
Les dégoûts qu’elle me donne
Les façades qu’on se fait
Et ce qui derrière est
Et les peurs qu’on avale
Les courages qu’on étale
Les envies de dire zut
Et les besoins de lutte
Et l’humain et la bête
Et le ventre et la tête
Les sens et la vertu
Le caché et le nu
L’aimable et le sévère
Le prude et le vulgaire
Le parleur le taiseux
Le brave et le peureux
Et le fier et le veule…
Pour tout ça je suis seul.

Ballades et réflexions à ma façon (1978)

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