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Translations by Robert Friend

from Found in Translation: A Hundred Years of Modern Hebrew Poetry Edited and introduced by Gabriel Levin. (Menard Press, London, 1999)

Clockwork Doll

by Dalia Ravikovitch

I was a clockwork doll that night,
and I turned left and I turned right
and when I fell and broke to bits,
they recomposed my wax and wits.

I was a proper doll once more,
my manner carefully demure;
and yet a doll of another kind—
an injured twig that tendrils bind.

And when they asked me to a ball—
although my steps were rhythmical,
they partnered me with dog and cat.

My hair was gold, my eyes were blue.
I wore a dress where flowers grew.
Cherries blazed on my straw hat.

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