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How Has the Gold Become Dim (Lavinia* Ravished)

That ravishing beauty of hers:
Zion, Lavinia, Philomela, the concubine of Gibeah,
Even as she lay slaughtered, hacked into twelve pieces
Still it lived on in her, swooning, bleeding through -
Her consummate beauty.

 

After the terrorist attack on Gaza Road in January of 2004

Michal Govrin, from: And So Said Jerusalem, Poems and Hymns
Translated from the Hebrew by: Betsy Rosenberg
*Translation sponsored by the "Museum On The seam", Jerusalem

 

* (From Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, Act 3 Scene IV)
“ Enter the Empress' sons, Demetrius and Chiron, with Lavinia, Her hands cut off, and her tongue cut out, and ravished
Dem.: So, now go tell, an if thy tongue can speak
Who 'twas that cut thy tongue and ravished thee.
Chi.: Write down thy mind, between thy meaning so
As if thy stumps will let thee play the scribe.
Dem.: See how with signs and tokens she can scrowl.
Chi.: Go home, call for sweet water, wash thy hands.
Dem.: She hath no tongue to call, nor hands to wash;
And so let's leave her to her silent walk.
Chi.: An 'twere my cause, I should go hang myself.
Dem.: If thou hadst hands to help thee knit the cord."

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