ory Manor, born in Tel Aviv, is an Israeli poet, translator and editor. He is the founder and editor of the literary magazine Oh! From 1996 to 2006 he resided in Paris, teaching Hebrew literature and translation at the INALCO University and at the Institut National de Sciences Politiques. In Israel he teaches Poetry, editing and translation at the Tel Aviv University and the Ben Gurion University of the Negev. He has edited many works by Israeli prize-winning poets and writers.
In 2007 Manor received the Prime Minister’s Prize for Hebrew Writers, and in 2008 he was awarded the Tchernichovsky Prize for best translations of world masterpieces. In 2011 he received the Ministry of Culture biannual prize for the best literary editor. In 2015 he received the prestigious Yehuda Amichai prize for his poetry. In 2017 he received his PhD in Translation Studies and Comparative Literature from INALCO University of Paris.
“We are bees for what the eye cannot see. We vigorously collect the nectar of the seen, to place in the great gold hive of the unseen.”
(Rainer Maria Rilke in a letter to his translator into Polish and personal friend Witold Hulewicz, the English translation is from the Hebrew translation by Shimon Sandbank).
Inside the tree’s crown
A colony of bees, thick
Dense and fluttering like a heart
Thumping in a boy’s chest –
Thick and fluttering like a heart
Golden in a parched chest
Of a giddy youth; I
Myself that boy had been.
Myself that boy had been
My chest a beehive
I knew not where to
Carry the empty waxcomb of my days.
I knew not where to
To whom, I knew not
My chest a beehive,
All my coming days buzzing
I carried it to chests
Closed under bolt and lock,
Carried it to bodies
Who were parched, too alien for comfort
I carried it to lashes
Around eyes which failed to notice
In front of my long gaze,
I carried it to the crowns
Of trees with butchered foliage,
I carried it under
Raptorial birds’ metallic gaze,
I carried it, in the end
To what I thought of as: forever.
But my poems banged against
The forehead of mortals.
Despite this I lodged
It between verses;
I took evening’s gold each evening,
At dawn would hold my gaze
Looking at the sun, and without
Heeding the flame, soar
To it and merge with her
In ever-flowing wax…
In dying golden wax,
Wax that no longer
Flows, molten, from a boys’ chest
But from the pupil of his eye
Of an apiarist-poet
Urgently collecting from his skin
But a secret
Blanc in color;
Words to quiet the soul,
Words to be a missing echo
A chance to ever at one time restore
That which is gone, flesh
Wanting, aged fifteen years, eternally
Words now lacking savor
Crushing on the shore
Translated by Hagay HaCohen
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