Israel, (b. 1932)
- An outgrowth of the Mediterranean, the Aegean Sea is home
- to Circe who changes men, sometimes into wolves
- and leopards, more often into swine. Her dark hair
- pours over her white shoulders as she stands,
- a monarch facing a wine-dark sea.
- And what if those wallowing in the dunghill,
- rooting for acorns in the sticky mud, dreamed
- of heroes sailing through waves of dark wine,
- the ship’s prow cutting toward the Golden Fleece?
- And what if the wild beasts yearned for justice
- and brotherhood before they grew their fangs and claws?
- The Aegean Sea is an outgrowth of the Mediterranean: look
- Circe stands on top of the cliff, holding the shape-changing
- scepter, contemplating with her deep, violet eyes
- the ever-flowing space, in whose wine-dark
- currents the ships row on, and sail, and some
- go down with bold men holding deep in flesh and bone
- the ancient days of metamorphosis and betrayal.
Translated by Henry Taylor
About the Poet
Moshe Dor (b. 1932), Israeli poet, children’s book author, interviewer, translator and essayist. He has also co-edited three English anthologies of contemporary Israeli poetry.
Dor has also served as literary editor and member of the Ma’ariv newspaper editorial board for many years. He was Counselor for Cultural Affairs at the Embassy of Israel in London and Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at American University in Washington, D.C. [DES-11/10]