Song of

Tamir Greenberg
Tsipi Kelier, Translator
You, pure Wickedness, sublime Perpetuum Mobile of destruction agony and loss,
have you blessed Progress as it elevates your speech to art form?
Bless, Wickedness, the marvel of the plane, a lump of black steel
carried along swift currents of air, its greased belly laden
with brilliant metallic eggs, joyous Easter for the children of Belgrade.
Bless the gun barrel, sensitive and sharp-eyed,
granting eternal marble glory in a central square
even to a poor and simple youth of no remarkable talent.
Bless and extol science leaping onward. Bless Chemistry, Physics, Biology
as they propagate their wisdom in cheery yellow vapors
over cities, villages, and refugee camps.
Bless, Wickedness, the joy of deportation, the beauty of exile, the grace of genocide
and the burning of villages --- more dear to despots than any palace or escort girl.
Rejoice in Kosovo and in Hebron, in Auschwitz and in Hiroshima,
excellent cities where you found refuge.
Bless as well the coming generation. Bless the son of the migrant laborer,
his warm and innocent flesh inviting lesions, sorrow, and disease.
Bless as well his father and mother, perched on the front line of quick profits
for the people of the Promised Land. Bless the love of God renewed in human hearts
at the turn of the millennium, for no gun or cannon can bequeath
the splendor of a sacred psalm.
Bless television that disseminates your divine work all around the globe.
Bless me, please, and those like me, persons of heart and morality,
comfortably seated in their rooms, composing a broken line,
bathing in the richness of metaphor.

Bless, Wickedness, bless, bless.
Bloom, Wickedness, bloom and prosper.
Rub your palms contentedly
as you contemplate human industry,
for great things are coming your way.

--- From With an Iron Pen:
Twenty Years of
Hebrew Protest Poetry

Tal Nitzan, Rachel Tzvia Back, Editors
Excelsior / State University of New York
Go to the
of this book

Send us e-mail


Go Home

Go to the most recent RALPH