Tel Aviv Diary - February 22, 2010 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - February 22-26, 2010 Karen Alkalay-Gut

February 22, 2010

How's your Italian? Here's a review from yesterday's Corriere Della Sera

After work today we trotted up to the College of the Valley of Jezreel to do a radio program - mostly about Yiddish poetry. They are still between semesters and the school is not crowded, which gave us the opportunity to see the really classy place itself. There is something special about that place - and I'm going to have to go back there again to see what is really going on at that school.

After two hours of radio, not having eaten since a thin sandwich at twelve, I was really ready for dinner, and was picturing Il Barbour in Uhm El Fahm or even Sahara near Afula, but we were too hungry by 7:30 to wait, and crossed the street to the Mizra Restaurant, where we were satisfied - but not more - with a hamburger and fries.

Here are some of those excerpts from very recent readings in the U.S. again

with Liz Magnes: Let me Think

with Joe Rosenstein: The Market

Falling Off The Camel

Expect more later.

February 21, 2010

February 23, 2010

Why can't I find even one person who supports the government? Do I just know the wrong people?

February 24, 2010

Any moment now, I expect to discover I'm one of the suspects in the assassination in Dubai. Everyone else is. So appropriate for Purim.

A program I did Monday afternoon on Kol Yizrael is here. It's in Hebrew, English, and some Yiddish in memory of Avraham Sutzkever, an amazing poet.

February 25, 2010

Every day Ahmidinajab tells me that my end is near. I believe him - just as we should have known that that killer whale in Florida would eventually kill again. I believe he's going to cause a great great number of deaths and the world will eventually stop him. But as long as I can I will do my best to ameliorate the kind of hatred that facilitates this will to destroy.

February 26, 2010

Even before I go to the dentist and then the memorial for Sutskever I have one of my little conversation with the invisible birds outside my kitchen. They are particularly talkative today after the thunderous storm last night, but they also find a little time to converse with me. I know what you're thinking, but my cleaner heard me yesterday and swore it sounded like a regular dialogue.

Of course she's on my payroll.

Shimon Peres opened the memorial for Avraham Sutzkever with a beautiful peon to Yiddish, and even read a poem in Yiddish himself. Then he sat through the two hour long program, as moved as every one in the audience. Although innumerable stars brilliantly performed Sutzkever's work, in Yiddish and Hebrew, there was a space when I stopped listening. It was when his poem about the wagon of shoes dancing was read. There's a passing English translation here but it doesn't do justice. (I doubt that I could do better) What Sutzkever does in this poem is foreground the empty shoes of victims dancing in the wagon, identifying even his mother's Sabbath shoes, with typical Lithuanian understatement. I got distracted by that poem, imagining the baby shoes of two of my baby cousins who were bashed against a wall in Zhedtl. Suzkever's granddaughter, the actress Hadas Calderon, brought me back with her warm and genuine personal grief. But I came home with a headache.

Thank goodness I can go and say goodnight to the birds near my house, and then good evening to the bats.

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