white city

Blue and white, sky and Bauhaus, our national colours and a Tel Aviv icon. In the spirit of the European flaneur newly elevated to the new city in the ancient homeland, here’s an extract from a poem by Avraham Shlonsky, from his 1927 book, In Tel Aviv:

Street lamps before evening falls

Ah – who lit you, yellowed eyes?

For what did you bring, empty auto, untimely

A strange guest to the house of wine?

I, a Jew, came for no reason

I, a Jew, returning home

an empty car shifts another moment

and silence returns to what it was

I searched for the text in its original Hebrew, but couldn’t find it anywhere on the internet. If anyone has it, or a link to it, it would be wonderful if you could share…


3 comments on “white city”

  1. I find the composition crisp and interesting and enjoyed the poem immensely.

  2. Just having a look at some of your earlier images — are you still interested in the Shlonsky poem? I can send scan and post it if you’d like.

    Also — how did you choose the name of your site? It evokes a few things for me, I wondered if you had anything specific in mind.


  3. Thanks for the comments :)

    Barbara – yes, I would love to have the Shlonsky poem, I looked for it all over the internet but could not find it…thank you so much.

    About the name for the site, I’m a huge fan of Nabokov, and find his use of English incredible (especially as a non-native speaker). I’m also a fan of Mandelstam who used “transparent things” as an image in some of his poems (like “The Swallow” – “Lastochka”), and for me it evokes the idea of a sort of nostalgia, of trying to superimpose something glimpsed in the mind’s eye as a memory on reality, which is what photography could try to do also. I’m not sure that makes sense :)

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