Thursday, July 13, 2017

Poetry Pop Up: Barbara Goldberg


I love to see those tall, lean, muscular men
with their clean-shaven heads and digital

watches toss their kids in the air. And I love
to see them drop, not weightless, but light

as grenades. This is how children learn that fear
can be fun.  And fathers, that this too is hand

to hand combat.  To cradle or kill – what story 
do we tell ourselves to justify.  That a dunam

of earth is worth dying for?  That a child opening
his mouth with an o of pleasure overturns

everything?  We grow like onions, our heads
buried in dirt.  And we die like onions, face

down in a pot of boiling water.  Gravity causes
all to fall down, and love, to hold things up.

BARBARA GOLDBERG is the author of five prize-winning books of poetry, including the Felix Pollak Poetry Prize for The Royal Baker’s Daughter. She also translated Scorched by the Sun, poems by Israeli poet Moshe Dor.  Goldberg and Dor translated and published four anthologies of contemporary Israeli poetry.  Goldberg received two fellowships from the NEA as well as awards in translation, fiction and speechwriting.  Goldberg is Series Editor of the Word Works’ International   Editions.  She lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

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