The House of the Name of Names

Rami Saari

In the house where the windows face the yard
we do not hang flags
for Independence Day.
No one would see the flags,
and anyway the lower white
and the upper blue would get soiled
by the soot on the walls,
the gas balloons and the birds.

In the house where the windows face this way
we don’t at the moment hang
anything. We defend
with the remnants of our hope
the little independence we possess,
care for one another and the everyday
even when it is darker than night.
We turn in the name of the names
to the great gods of the past,
pray for ourselves, our bones,
the remnants of our independence, and
sometimes it is very cold:
we wear the clothes of life,
and death, lurking in wait for love and night,
in the smoky depth of our house.

Translated from Hebrew by Vivian Eden, The 4th International Poets’ Festival, Jerusalem, 1997

CATALAN POETRY translated by Saari to Hebrew
CATALAN PROSE translated by Saari to Hebrew
Rami Saari’s page

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