Miriam Neiger-Fleischmann- Izrael

Miriam Neiger-Fleischmann- Izrael


     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.      

    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).

     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


Summer night over Jerusalem:

In the sky a gloomy plane,

snarling like a lizard in the air,

a mutant dinosaur.

Emergency vehicles tear

the dark night apart with their howling

on a road illumined

to the point of desperation.

The warehouses of suppression are

chock-a-block: words

shower down

and scatter in a lake of memories.

Fear holds you

and stretches like the cosmos.

My body is sunk

in the fat flesh of night.

Decorating space, the stars

are sequins on an eastern veil.

It is hard to be comforted by their glow.

Their cold appearance will absorb my signals

after a hundred light years

and then it will be too late.




Standing far away

you can only see the bright side

as from a satellite one sees

the traces of the brush stroke of the universe

in the frozen streams of the North Pole

or the perfect shape

of whirlpools of dust

which cover the whole of China —

the rustle of angels’ wings cannot

sweep it all away


The sorrow was growing inside her

like vapour rises from dry land

which never reaches out and merges

with a piece of the celestial universe, and she knows

that in the nature of her desire

there is already a flaw,

just as separation is the essence of creation.

Better this way than Chaos.


                   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.  

                   Translated from the Hebrew by the author and Anthony Rudolf