Iowa Writes

SHIMON ADAF
Icarus Remembers translated by BECKA MARA MCKAY


1. In this place

Was it ever autumn here?
Seven wicked birds
gaunt as pins
stitch sky to asphalt,
gnawing on the light's last
crumb.
Inside the trees, the rising stops
like love.
Some of the heart's great silences
entered me, a terrible trembling
in this place.

2. June is becoming

Is there one hour when children are not
forced to adolescence?
One minute when the city is barred from destruction,
like stars beneath the soldier's boot of dawn?
One moment?

I have more time than I want.
A block of light gripped
through the walls
of breathing nights,
breathing days,
wonderful siege of vanishing ages.

1. In this place

Was it ever autumn here?
Seven wicked birds
gaunt as pins
stitch sky to asphalt,
gnawing on the light's last
crumb.
Inside the trees, the rising stops
like love.
Some of the heart's great silences
entered me, a terrible trembling
in this place.

2. June is becoming

Is there one hour when children are not
forced to adolescence?
One minute when the city is barred from destruction,
like stars beneath the soldier's boot of dawn?
One moment?

I have more time than I want.
A block of light gripped
through the walls
of breathing nights,
breathing days,
wonderful siege of vanishing ages.

I have more than it seems.
Sometimes, even now,
burning blindness of the streets.
June
a name I won't utter again,
June, June
the whole world rings with June,
complaining rasp of warbler wings
determined murmur, like flames, of dandelions
as in another city
the groaning sea appears,
as I've realized since I was a boy
a moment before this day
a single chance, twice missed
to drown.

3. A barrage

Have I fallen? The air's shackles
echo the chrysanthemums' journey—
quick and bitter—
to their ending, like first sex:
always awkward and hesitant
the flesh slower than a dream, more opaque
than glass.

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About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting iowa-writes@uiowa.edu


SHIMON ADAF

Shimon Adaf is an Israeli poet, translator, essayist and guitarist. In 2003, he participated in the University of Iowa's International Writing Program. Becka Mara McKay was born in Clinton, Iowa. She is currently working on a PhD in comparative literature at the University of Iowa. "Icarus Remembers" first appeared in the premier issue (Fall 2003) of eXchanges, the University of Iowa's literary e-journal devoted to translations both into and out of the English language.

eXchanges Journal of Literary Translation

This page was first displayed
on July 22, 2006

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