In My Bustan: Poems

Poetica Publishing Company  2009

“Bustan” can be translated as life, garden, or orchard. Many of Michal Mahbgerefteh’s poems are reflections on Israel beyond surface appearances, as in “Peaceful Thoughts to My Sleep,” “...I want to walk in your bustan to the scent/of the sweet lemon tree...My heart aches for/your laughter and spices, but tonight the/cold silvery skies brought a peaceful thought/to my sleep; your presence is a beacon/to my wondering thoughts stirring formless/beginnings full of strength and vigor.” The reader also perceives the anguish the author felt on watching her mother die from cancer and on considering the agony of terrorism and war that Israel continues to experience; but infusing these starker realities is a sensitive, hopeful vitality, as in “Psalm for Peace,” which repeats the refrain, “If I could only make the/dark fall in love with the light.” The last section returns to the defining identity of this very talented poet, “Yuk- Hay-Vav-Hay,” “...When your name/rests upon my lips/sweetness enriches/the edge of my soul/letter by letter.”

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