1: Poem, “Tel Aviv 1935” by Leah Goldberg, 1964.
This poem is written in quatrains, a classic form for Hebrew poetry. The rhyme structure is irregular, which calls attention to the places where there is rhyme, for example, in lines 6 and 8. The poem appeared in Goldberg’s 1964 collection With This Night (‘Im ha-layla ha-ze) and is the second poem of a six-poem cycle titled “The Shortest Journey” (Ha-m‘asa ha-katsar be-yoter).
Suggested Activities: Ask students to imagine that they have moved to a new place or to draw on their personal experiences with moving and/or immigration. In what specific ways would/did their life change under those circumstances? Ask them to make a list of all of the things that would be/were different, and how well they think they could/did adapt to these changes. What part of their old life would/did they want to hold on to? How would this be/was this possible?
Or: Ask students to imagine that they have to leave their home for an indefinite period of time and can pack only one small carry-on bag. What would they take with them? Ask them to consider how current technologies of communication have changed the way we move in the world. Do these technologies suffice to make us feel at home anywhere in the world, and if not, what are their limits?
Sources: Leah Goldberg, “Tel Aviv 1935,” in With This Night (‘Im ha-layla ha-ze), (Israel: Sifriat Poalim, 1964). Translation by Adriana X. Jacobs, 2017.