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Meir Wieseltier

  • PoetryMarch 28, 2002

    Sonnet: Against Making Blood Speak Out

    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
    to talk about an arrangement----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

    Meir Wieseltier