Poetry made of charms
In order to write, I fill my room with charms. These magical objects transform my simple wooden desk into a space crafted from unknown magic, with no beginning or end. The east opens, and I can see a new world – reaching all the way to the dark edges of town.
I start collecting my charms: a vintage photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron entitled “I Wait”; An old photo of me standing next to Nadav Cohavi RIP, from the time we had a band in LA; A gray plastic elephant my girlfriend Ayala got me, a magical cat standing at the gates of the ancient world of eternity, which I bought during a visit to the Pyramids many years ago; a Palestinian postcard from old Jaffa to complete them all.
I look at them surrounding me, and start hearing an old but new melody of prayer.
A spirit of Love and social change.
Mati Shemoelof, Tel Aviv/Israel
Our latest poet is not only a writer but a scientist and an activist. Much of his literary work and activism deals with issues of ethnicity and class among Mizrahi Jews in Israel and with the Arab-Israeli conflict. In his poem ‘Why don’t I write Israeli Love Songs’ he says
I want compensation from the National Bank of Israel
For the Palestinians, the Mizrachim, the Women, the Gays and the Lesbians
For every comment, transit-camp, closed military zone
Only then will I be willing to write Israeli love songs.
Advent Calendar door number 19 reveals the Israeli poet
(with translations into Arabic, English and German)
Born in 1972 in Haifa, Mati Shemoelof works as a poet, editor, journalist and teacher. He is a lecturer of Israeli culture at Minshar College in Tel Aviv. Shemoelof co-edited an anthology of works against the war in Gaza, and published several books of poetry and short stories.