The seventh book of poems of the beloved Israeli poet Yaara Ben-David, winner of a number of important literary awards including Israel’s Prime the Tchernichovksy Prize in 1998, the Prime Minister Prize in 2013 and an honorable mention in the Brenner Prize in 2016.
This collection features a selection of Yaara Ben-David’s published poems, translated into English by the gifted Naama Sheffer, as well as a number of more recent poems, published in this volume only.
In its entirety, Blood Red Strawberries introduces the reader to the unique world of words and images which characterizes all of Yaara Ben-David’s art.
Her work is meaningful and richly layered, and provides a glimpse into the unseen depths of the artist’s soul.
“With courage and sensitivity, love and straightforwardness, Yaara Ben-David moves into the ‘Terra Incognito’ of relationships between children and parents. It is a bold and unique collection filled with wonder. It is as breathtatkingly beautiful as it is inspiring.”
Haim Be’er, author.
“Yaara Ben-David realizes Nietzsche’s advice to the artist is to integrate all forms of art. her poetry is deep and resounding – sounds and images mesh with one another, creating a gorgeous verbal collage. Poetry at its best.”
Prof. Ziva Shamir.
At this hour, when passing from life to life
and casting nets into the fathoms
of the dimming evening
I make myself a different time
from the ripples of a stone hammering the water
and from the water closing on me in a ripple
as if I were Robinson’s little island.
Time is created from the short leap
of the birds of Genesis
from the tree of knowledge to the tree of life.
I buy myself rights
in this plot of time
in which one always pays
in blood-red strawberries,
to later draw the line for eyes
oblivious to their own longing.
The beauty is in the fruit that has ripened
and slowly soured
and is already molded in the language
like a contradiction within itself.
Laying on the dark side,
offering the skin
and the beauty of the abyss.
Let me divide you into syllables
beyond the rules of grammar,
like a sharp-edged fact.
Read me aloud from within me,
so that we might die together for eons.
Second Poem from Cycle “The Refugee”
What the land doesn’t know, the seeded skies do.
What the land has not had time enough to swallow,
the drunken sea drinks and vomits onto the shore.
And the light is the no-man’s-land between
Hover and crush landing.
Who am I, the man blows the question to the air,
like a rare bird in flight.