Taps at a Window on an Evening


As with all good poems, the language here is patterned throughout by sounds and images which chime with one another. Trying to translate these effects through a two-hour workshop, we can bring some across into English. In the title, for instance, Micha Meyers, our guest translator, told us that the Hebrew utilises a beautiful play between the word for ‘knocks’ or ‘taps’ and its near-homonym ‘kisses’ which lurks in its shadow. In English, we couldn’t capture this particular effect. Nevertheless, we wanted to try and find ways to link the gentle quality of the tapping at the window with the repeated instances of rain and contradictory quality of gripping and gentle restraint explored by the ending. The poem seems motivated somehow by the contradictions that it examines, making present a father who has departed and capturing both a sense of distance and an intensity of care.

Edward Doegar, Commissioning Editor