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Sonnet: Against Making Blood Speak Out
Meir Wieseltier, Israel
April 15, 2002
If I die one day from the bullet of a young killer—
a Palestinian who crosses the northern border—
or from the blast of a hand grenade he throws,
or in a bomb explosion while I’m checking the price
of cucumbers in the market, don’t dare say
that my blood permits you to justify your wrongs—
that my torn eyes support your blindness—
that my spilled guts prove it’s impossible
to talk about an arrangement with them
—that it’s only possible
to talk with guns, interrogation cells, curfew, prison,
expulsion, confiscation of land, wisecracks, iron fists, a steel heart
that thinks it’s driving out the Amorites and destroying the Amalekites.
Let the blood seep into the dust: blood is blood, not words.
Terrible—the illusion of the Kingdom in obtuse hearts.
Translated from the Hebrew by Shirley Kaufman.
One of Israel's major poets and a recipient of The Israel Prize, Meir Wieseltier is a poet in residence at the University of Haifa.
From The Nation, April 15, 2002.