Miriam Neiger-Fleischmann

About the poet:

Miriam Neiger-Fleischmann is a Hebrew poet, literary scholar, and painter. She was born in Slovakia in 1948. Her parents were Holocaust survivors from Hungary. She came to Israel in 1949 and lives and works in Jerusalem. She studied art at the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem from 1977–1981. In 2015 she earned a PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with a dissertation on the poetry of Avigdor Hameiri one of the first modernist in Israel.      

    She has published four volumes of poems in Hebrew: Words in a Visual Space (1992), Images Reproduced (1999), Material in No Man’s Land (2007), and Song for Miriam (2018). She has won several prizes. One volume in Hungarian translation, Száműzetés (Exile, 2002, trans. Zsuzsa Zalaba), appeared in Budapest. A volume of poems in English translation, Death of the King and Other Poems (2017, trans. Anthony Rudolf), appeared in Nottingham, England. This volume was also translated from the English into Romanian by Victor Stir (2017).

Some of the poems have appeared in leading magazines, including Modern Poetry in Translation, Stand, PN Review, The Jerusalem Reviw and Jewish Quarterly.

     Her poem “My pity is fake” was published as “Poem of the Week”, in The Guardian on-line (June 15, 2020): https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2020/jun/15/poem-of-the-week-my-pity-is-fake-by-miriam-neiger-fleischmann 

     Pursuing a parallel artistic life as a painter, Neiger-Fleischmann has participated in many exhibitions at home—including the Israel Museum and the Tel Aviv Museum—and abroad, in New York, Paris, Germany, Spain, Hungary, and Slovakia.

    Website: www.miriamneiger.com


אֲנִי מְשׁוֹרֶרֶת גּוֹלָה לִשְׂדוֹת צֶבַע
זוֹרַעַת מִלִּים בְּתַלְמֵי מִכְחוֹל
מַנְבִּיטָה עַל בַּדִּים רַכִּים שׁוּרוֹת חֲרוּזוֹת
מְדַשֶּׁנֶת אוֹתָם בְּפִּיגְמֶנְטִים
וּמַצְמִיחָה תְּמוּנוֹת

אֲנִי צַיֶּרֶת גּוֹלָה מִשְּׂדוֹת צֶבַע
אוֹסֶפֶת מִלִּים נוֹפְלוֹת מִשָּׁמַיִם
כְּמוֹ מַלְאָכִים מוֹרְדִים הַמְּבַקְּשִׁים אֶת תִּקּוּנָם
מְסַדֶּרֶת אוֹתִיּוֹת דּוֹחֲקוֹת עַל גִּלְיוֹנוֹת חַסְרֵי מָנוֹחַ
וּבוֹנָה מֵהֶם מַרְאוֹת

אֲנִי אִשָּׁה גּוֹלָה מִמְּחוֹזוֹת הָאַהֲבָה
לְאֶרֶץ גִּשְׁמֵי צֶבַע לְמֶרְחֲבֵי הַסִּימָנִים
נִגְזַר עָלַי לְקַבֵּץ טִפּוֹת רוּחַ בְּקֻפְסַת צְדָקָה
מֵהַחֲדָרִים הָאֲחוֹרִיִּים שֶׁל הַמְּצִיאוּת
לְרַוּוֹת אֶת יֵשׁוּתִי


I am a poet exiled to fields of colour,
seed words in the furrow of the brush
sprout rhymed lines upon soft canvases
fertilise them with pigments,
make pictures grow.

I am a painter exiled from fields of colour.
I assemble words fallen from heaven
like rebel angels looking for salvation;
I arrange urgent letters on restless sheets,
build spectacles there.

I am a woman exiled from districts of love
to a land of rain colours, to sign-filled spaces.
I am doomed to collect in a charity box
scraps of spirit from reality’s back rooms
to satisfy my soul.  

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