In Praise of Hate
My friend, a clever woman, tells me hate
is the most democratic emotion. Mulling
it over, I decide she’s hit the nail on the head
and by that measure, I am a democrat par excellence.
Oh, without reservation, with no shred
of bias, I hate those who spill innocent blood,
no matter what race or religion, those who grind
the faces of the poor, suck their marrow, those
who amass fortunes, speculate in misery, masters
of corruption, rabbis of coercion, parasites
of sanctity, feeding on the dead, sowing strife
to promote themselves, starved for power, rolling
sanctimonious eyes, spreading cheap promises,
priests of deceit, swindlers, directors of obscenity,
scribes of rot, those who sell their own birthright
for a mess of lentils, or any other bean, offspring
of Satan concealing their horns and hooves, spinners
of false dreams, worshippers of abstraction decked out
in their finery of high art or tawdry clichés, see how
they parade, frothing at the mouth, stoking the hysteria
of the mob, and of course I hate you, apple of my eye,
you who swore to love me forever, yea verily I hate
the whole lot, no one shall escape unpunished. Selah.
But I also know that every shelter I built
for you—straw, wood, brick—all
were washed away in the storm.
The only thing left for me to give
is my old, bruised body, swaying
in the slightest puff of wind, but it’s all yours,
whether standing upright or collapsing—
come, hide in it.
Moshe Dor, born in 1932 in Tel Aviv, has authored 40 books of poetry, essays and children's verse. Recipient of both the Bialik Prize and Israel's Prime Minister's Award, Dor was Israel's Counselor for Cultural Affairs in London and Distinguished Writer in Residence at American University, Washington, DC. He served on the editorial board of Ma'ariv, a leading Israeli newspaper. Dor's poems have been translated into over 30 languages. The American poets he has translated include Naomi Shihab Nye and Charles Simic. Dor is the lyricist of "erev shel shoshanim (Evening of Roses)", performed worldwide as a wedding song.
Barbara Goldberg is the author of six prize-winning books of poetry, including The Royal Baker's Daughter, winner of the Felix Pollak Poetry Prize (University of Wisconsin Press, 2008). Her most recent book is Transformation: The Poetry of Translation (Poets Choice, 2019), recipient of the Valentin Krustev Translation Award. She and renowned Israeli poet Moshe Dor edited numerous anthologies of contemporary Israeli poetry including After the First Rain: Israeli Poems on War and Peace (Syracuse University Press/Dryad Press, 2007). Goldberg received two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as an award from Columbia University's Translation Center. Her work has appeared in Best American Poetry, Paris Review,Poetry, American Poetry Review, Gettysburg Review. She is Series Editor for the International Editions at The Word Works. To read more by this author, see Winter 2007 issue and the DC Places Issue.