The Schmooze

Rivka Miriam: Silence as Midrash

To an American reader, accustomed to individualistic poetry of Walt Whitman or the confessional writings of Silvia Plath, the recently published collection of Israeli poet Rivka Miriam, “These Mountains: Selected Poems of Rivka Miriam” (Toby Press) may seem like a deliberate insult.

Throughout the collection, there is a constant sense of removal — or, perhaps, veiling — of the author herself, as well as her circumstances. Providing almost no references to contemporary Israel or its politico-social concerns, the poet’s voice is reminiscent of the anonymous writers of Midrash. She, too, expansively re-imagines the stories of the Tanakh, and composes new myth-like tales, using classic biblical tropes — wells, depths, mountains, and revelations.

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Rivka Miriam: Silence as Midrash

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