I want to be awakened from our love

Two poems by Gili Haimovich translated by Dara Barnat

 Gili Haimovich      DaraB

These translations from Hebrew of “The Perfect Set” and “Too Easy” are part of an ongoing collaboration between Gili Haimovich and myself. My translations of Gili’s poetry can be found in journals including Bridges: A Jewish Feminist Journal, International Poetry Review, Poetry International, and Blue Lyra. Gili’s translations of my poetry to Hebrew appear in Shvo, Makaf, and other Hebrew-language publications. 

“Too Easy” is from Gili’s last book Baby Girl, Emda Publishers, 2014, and “The Perfect Set” is from Lint Season, Pardes Publishers, 2011.

—Dara Barnat


הַסֵּט הַמֻּשְׁלָם

by Gili Haimovich

.הָאַהֲבָה שֶׁלָּנוּ יוֹתֵר מִדַּי מַתְאִימָה לָרִהוּט


.וְהִיא נִשְׁמַעַת בְּאֵיכוּת סְרָאוּנְד עַל רֶקַע גֵּ ‘אז מָהָגוֹנִי


הָאַהֲבָה שֶׁלָּנוּ לֹא קוֹרַעַת


,הִיא תּוֹפֶרֶת



.וְגַם בָּזֶה יֵשׁ מִנְּעִיצוֹת הַמַּחַט בַּבָּשָׂר הַחַי


.מְדַמָּה אוֹתָן לַצְּבִיטוֹת שֶׁמּוֹכִיחוֹת שֶׁזֶּה לֹא חֲלוֹם


.חֲבָל שֶׁאֲנִי לֹא יְכוֹלָה לְהָקִיץ מֵאַהֲבָתֵנוּ



הָאַהֲבָה שֶׁלָּנוּ יוֹתֵר מִדַּי מַתְאִימָה לַצַּלָּחוֹת


.שֶׁקָּנְתָה לָנוּ אִשְׁתּוֹ הַשְּׁלִישִׁית שֶׁל אָבִיךָ


אֲבָל הִיא לֹא טְעִימָה עִם מָה


.שֶׁמִּתְבַּשֵּׁל עַל הַכִּירַיִם



הָאַהֲבָה הַזּאֹת מַתְאִימָה לָאַגָּדָה שֶׁבְּסוֹפָהּ הָיִיתִי הַכַּלָּה הֲכִי יָפָה


.אֲבָל אֲנִי נְמוּכָה, כְּבֵדָה וְנַשְׁכָנִית מִדַּי

The Perfect Set

by Gili Haimovich

Our love fits the furniture too much.


And it’s heard in surround sound jazz that circles the mahogany.


Our love doesn’t rip,


it sews.



And in this there’s also the sense of a needle going into flesh.


The punctures are like pinches that prove it’s not a dream.


I want to be awakened from our love.



Our love fits the plates too much,


the ones that your father’s third wife bought us.


But it doesn’t taste good with what’s


cooking on the stove.



This love fits the end of a fairy tale in which I’m the most beautiful bride,


but I’m too short, heavy, and sharp.

translated from Hebrew by Dara Barnat

קלה מידיי

by Gili Haimovich

הַלַּילְָה נוֹשֵׂא אוֹתִי

,אֲבָל לֹא כְּהַבְטָחָה

,לֹא כְּשֵׁם שֶׁאֲנִי נָשָׂאתִי אוֹתָךְ


,עַל הֶחָזֶה



,עַל ראֹשׁ שִׂמְחָתִי

,עַל צַוַּאר דַּאֲגָתִי

.בְּשֶׁלֶג סוֹחֵף

הַשִּׁירִים בָּאִים

.כְּמוֹ קַלִּים מִדַּי


,כִּמְעַט קַל מִדַּי

,מוּבָן מִדַּי מֵאֵלָיו

,לִהְיוֹת אִמָּא שֶׁלָּךְ

.לִהְיוֹת שַׁיּכֶֶת לָךְ

Too Easy

by Gili Haimovich

The night carries me

but not like a promise,

not like how I carried you,

in the stomach,

on the chest,

the back,

the neck,

on the head of my joy,

on the shoulders of my concern.

through swirling snow.


The poems come

almost too easily,

it’s almost too easy,

too obvious,

being your mother,

belonging to you.

translated from Hebrew by Dara Barnat

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