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June 2017
192 pages  
6 b&w Illustrations
10 x 10
9780822964902
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On the Surface of Silence
The Last Poems of Lea Goldberg
Goldberg, Lea, Back, Rachel Tzvia
The first English language translation of the final poetry collection of Lea Goldberg, a preeminent and central poet of modern Hebrew poetry.
Lea Goldberg (1911-1970) was the recipient of the Israel Prize for poetry, the state’s highest honor. Goldberg was a playwright, author of children’s books, and translator.
Rachel Tzvia Back is head of the Graduate English Program at Oranim Academic College, Israel.
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Hebrew Union College Press
Poetry
Jewish Studies
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Rachel Tzvia Back offers the first-ever English language translation of the final poetry collection of Lea Goldberg, a preeminent and central poet of modern Hebrew poetry. These extraordinary texts, composed in the last years and even days of the poet’s life and published posthumously after her untimely death, exhibit a level of lyrical distillation and formal boldness that mark them as distinctive in the poet’s oeuvre. Often employing a fragment-like structure, where the unspoken is as present and forceful as the spoken, stripped of adornments and engaging the reader with an uncompromising, even disarming directness, Goldberg’s last poems enact and manifest a poetics of intrepid truth-telling. The play between revelation and concealment, the language precision and the unflinching end-of-life gaze, transform these texts into powerfully moving and often surprising poems. The book itself, in the original format as masterfully edited by Tuvia Ruebner and with drawings by Goldberg herself interspersed among the poems, is a significant and beautiful artifact of modern Hebrew culture.

This bilingual edition, with translations by award-winning translator and poet Rachel Tzvia Back, brings us poems from this singular poetic voice of the twentieth century—poems that will enrich, reflect, and stir the reader’s heart.

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