Today, the Israeli novelist was announced winner of 2010 Book Trade Peace Prize by Germany’s book publishers association for his efforts in ending conflict between Israel, Palestinians. Tragically and some might say ironically, Grossman's youngest son Uri was killed during the Second Lebanon War when a Hezbollah missile his tank. Grossman at first supported that war, but later, and even before his son was killed, protested it.
Anyway, here's a short poem that incorporates elements (or doesn't) from that terrible event as well as Grossman's most-recent novel "To the End of the Land", which was takes on the story of a woman travelling through Israel, and was influenced by the death of his son.
THIS IS NOT ABOUT DAVID GROSSMAN
The famous author writes a story
about a woman whose son fights
at the front. The woman, who’s begun dreaming
of deserts, leaves her husband
and a small cerulean pool
in the garden. She starts walking, believing
if she’s not home to answer
the door, her son remains untouched.
Awakened in the middle of night
by military officers, the famous author
learns his youngest child, a tank
during a fierce battle that same
afternoon. A woman sits
at an empty bus stop between
nondescript towns. She’s waiting
but not for a bus; the bus company
quit the unprofitable route
years earlier. There are no cars, no signs
of anyone. When asked how death
affects his writing, the famous author
said, I do not speak of that. In her
dream, the desert is flat and dry. She lights
everything on fire.
Remembering W.S. Merwin (1927-2019)
5 weeks ago