Poem of the week: Week Thirty Six.

The last poem from and in Gabriel Preil’s poetry collection Autumn Music

A Summing Up
– Gabriel Preil

I spoke with a tangle-haired forester from Saskatchewan —
and in his words I detected a chorus of trees singing
under the stretched parchment dotted with stars;
I accompanied an artist ablaze with color,
probing mountain and river at sunset —
and on my private horizon burst forth a fire
primeval and untamed, plunging finally into
dormant marble, abundant with sadness;
I saw a monk from Siam, thin and ascetic as a reed,
perched on the spring of oblivion —
like him I was punished by scorpions of memory
and in the pale waters I purified myself;
and when I chanced upon the Greek cook, sober and round,
I learned from his mouth a lesson
of the spoon that stirs without pause
a broth of passion and boredom of the world.



Poem of the week: Week Thirty Five.

Here’s the third poem of September from Gabriel Preil’s poetry collection Autumn Music.

The First Time
– Gabriel Preil

The gravedigger’s shirt
turned red in the sun,
his boots turned black
with the white of snow:
as if this day
became night
for the first time,
as if the earth had never
opened its mouth —
and the mourners stood
like surprised children
at the sight
of the gravedigger’s shirt 
turned red,
and their blood turned
to snow.


Poem of the week: Week Thirty Four.

The second poem of the month from Gabriel Preil’s amazing poetry collection Autumn Music.
The following poem is my absolute favourite from the book.

Letter out of the Gray
– Gabriel Preil

No one writes to me.
The books are as tired as I.
The pen still shakes on the paper
its dubious warmth
and it seems I’m not holding it.
It is a reed stuck in a faraway sea
or seized by a stranger
directing a line from right to left
as if by accident.
But sometimes, out of the gray,
a square letter smiles.
Blue and innocent,
it whispers:
I am the only one who loves.


Poem of the week: Week Thirty Three.

This month’s poet is the modern Hebrew poet Gabriel Preil. I found his book Autumn Music in my cousin’s collection.

An Island and its Retreating Sea
Gabriel Preil

The poem arrives in any weather
and then carves out a climate
of its own,
planting gardens
that had never brought forth gold
or yielding a new desert
of sand.

After the poem,
with its sun and its snow
and all that passes between them
has been sung,
it breathes
like a landscape of its own
that can be located
on any map.

Only the one
who brought forth the poem
remains apart:
an island
whose sea retreats
at his approach.