Atar Hadari

Winter Weather

                              Seamus Heaney 30/8/2013


The Pilgrim Came Among the Philosophers by Miroslav Huptych

They have started dying off
just like sparrows
Stiffening with the cold,
scattered in gutters
Like after-wedding sweeties,
Sparrows turned ice in the flash freeze
As if the first to feel
what was always coming
But some professions expel cold
They insulate you from the turn of the weather
Poets, like pit canaries, smell the trouble first
So when poets die you can hear the winter
Coming in, branch by branch
Turning the woods into a corridor
Flush against the ice rink.
The warrior, statesman and orator
Each die on their sword –
The poet flies with a winter crowd
Bearing away his last words.


About the writer:
Atar Hadari’s Songs from Bialik: Selected Poems of H. N. Bialik (Syracuse University Press) was a finalist for the American Literary Translators’ Association Award. His debut collection, Rembrandt’s Bible, was published by Indigo Dreams in 2013. Lives of the Dead: Poems of Hanoch Levin was awarded a Pen Translates grant and is out now from Arc Publications. He contributes a monthly verse bible translation column to MOSAIC magazine.

Image: The Pilgrim Came Among the Philosophers by Miroslav Huptych (1952- ). From the cycle Labyrinth of the World and Paradise of the Heart. Collage/computer graphic. 1000 x 700 mm. 2017. By free license.