Ory Bernstein

Ory Bernstein (1936-2017) was born in Tel Aviv. He studied law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and served as an attorney in the IDF. After working in the private sector, he was CEO of one of Israel's largest corporations for 23 years, and later practiced law in Tel Aviv. Bernstein was co-editor of the literary journal Yochani together with Natan Zach, a guest lecturer in creative writing at Tel Aviv University and a professor of Hebrew literature at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He also served as chairman of the Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature.
Bernstein published many volumes of poetry, a novel, a collection of prose poems, two collections of essays, a travel book and two books for children. He translated English, French and Italian poetry into Hebrew, including Rimbaud's Une Saison en Enfer and a collection of Yeats' poetry. His own poetry has been translated into 15 languages. Bernstein received the Yehuda Amichai Poetry Prize for Lifetime Achievement in 2008.


Sudden flight

I sent you away in planes,
like a stone thrown up by a child,
all curled up, frightened, in your coat,
high above the houses and the lakes. Your face,
baying and abandoned, shadowed
by the edge of a pillow,
is circled by a void.

I sent you away and stayed behind
to do the nasty chores of loneliness:
training myself not to look in the mirror, to hurry
through another day, to bring package
after package home so as to establish
the pretense of survival.

And all this while you fly over us in doubtful contrivances,
going around and around,
refusing to land.





Ory Bernstein

Books Published in Hebrew

POETRY
Spring and Its Intent, Adi, 1955 [Aviv Ve-Shivro]
Same Room, Same Light, Yochani, 1962 [Be-Oto Ha-Cheder, Be-Oto Ha-Or]
In a Short Season, Schocken, 1967 [Be-Ona Ktzara]
All Are Lonely Deeds, University Publishing Projects/ Siman Kriah, 1974 [Kulam Maʹasim Bodedim: Shirim 1967-1973]
An Evening with Sue, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1976 [Erev Im Sue]
Middle Ground, Hakibbutz Hameuchad/ Siman Kriah, 1979 [Emek Ha-Shaveh]
With Death, Hakibbutz Hameuchad/ Siman Kriah, 1982 [Im Mavet]
Selected Poems: 1962-1982, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1986 [Shirim Nivcharim: 1962-1982]
Remains, Am Oved, 1987 [Ma She-Nishʹar, Ma She-Lo]
A Private Matter, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1992 [Inyan Prati]
Hinneh: Poetry Collection No. 5, Tag, May 1995 [Hineh: Kuntres Le-Shira 5]
A Time of Others, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1996 [Zman Shel Acherim: Shirim 1987-1995]
A New Place, Keshev, 2000 [Min Ha-Makom He-Chadash]
A One and Only Love, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2002 [Al Ahava Achat Vi-Yechida]
Poems: 1962-2002, Bialik Institute, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2004 [Shirim: 1962-2002]
The Patriarch Abraham in New York, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2006 [Avraham Avinu Bi-New York]
The Romantic Book, Keshev, 2007 [Ha-Sefer Ha-Romanti]
A Passing World, Am Oved, 2007 [Olam Over]
The Tiresias Fragments, Even Hoshen, 2010 [Masa Tiresias]
Poems for Solo Piano: 2007-2009, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2011 [Shirim Li-Fsanter Yachid: 2007-2009]
Private Mythologies, Keshev, 2012 [Mitologyot Pratiyot]
The Long Memory of Love, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2013 [Ha-Zikaron Ha-Aroch Shel Ha-Ahava]
Someone, Keshev, 2014 [Mi She-Hu]
Face of the Days: Poems 2012-2014, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2016 [Pnei Ha-Yamim]
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PROSE
Opposite Flowing Water (prose poetry), Adi, 1959 [Ha-Mayim Ha-Holchim Mi-Neged]
Animals on the Way (travel), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1991 [Chayot Al Ha-Derech]
A Practice Among Friends (Essays on Poetry), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1998 [Isuk Bein Chaverim]
A Dubious Life (novel) , Keter, 2002 [Safek Chayim]
On the Poetic Persona (Essays on Poetry), Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2008 [Al Ha-Persona U-Frakim Acherim Al Ha-Shira]
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CHILDREN & YOUTH
A Nice Boy (youth) , Hakibbutz Hameuchad/ Siman Kriah, 1981 [Yeled Tov]
Adventures in Green (children), Dvir, 1990 [Harpatkaʹot Yerukot]

Books in Translation

Selected Poems
Serbian: Belgrade, Meridijani, 2006
French: Paris, Caracteres, 2009
English: Oakville, Ontario, Mosaic Press, 2014 (in: Kaleidoscope: Three Poets from Israel)