Mordechai Geldman was born in Munich to Polish parents who had survived the Holocaust. His family immigrated to Israel in 1949 and settled in Tel Aviv, where he has lived ever since. Geldman studied World Literature and Clinical Psychology and works as a psychotherapist using psychoanalytical methods.
Geldman has begun publishing poetry in 1966. His poetry is philosophical, psychological, and existential. It combines literary Hebrew and everyday language, even some slang. His later poetry tends to be meditative and includes many haiku. He was influenced by Zen Buddhist aesthetics and philosophy. His poetry sings with many voices – lyrical, philosophical, sensual, erotic, religious, ironic and others. A sober mind integrates all these aspects of his personality.
He has published 18 poetrybooks, a book of short stories and 6 non-fiction books. A two-volume collection of poems from his books was published in 2011. His last poetry book is the third volume of the collection of his poetry written till 2019. His poems were translated into many languages, Chinese and Japanese included. His book "Becoming One" was translated into Portuguese ("Teoria Do Um"), and published in Portugal in 2017. A large collection of his poems in English was published in 2018 by Suny Press, State University of N.Y.
His non-fiction books deal with subjects as the self in psychoanalytic theories and in Yoga and Buddhism, psychoanalytic interpretation of literature, doubles, and symmetries in Shakespeare's plays, his favorite Israeli poets and artists, etc.
As a visual artist, Geldman has engaged in painting, ceramics, and photography. Geldman was an art critic for the Israeli daily Haaretz, and curated exhibitions for many Israeli artists.
Awards: the Prime Minister Prize; the Brenner Prize for literature; the Amichai Prize; the Bialik Prize for Literature.
Narcissus didn’t fall in love with his image
but with water
for its divine mysterious ability to reflect his image
and the overhanging tree branches
and the ever changing skies
and the herds of drifting clouds
water has endowed those reflected
with magnificent doubles glowing as if anointed
and with holy moments of eternity
until dusk came and darkness
The charms of water so enthralled him
that he preferred the reflections over the reflected
every day he swam in the sky
among clouds among tree branches
his soul seeking to be like water
and like it to contain the entire cosmos
and become the form of many
His studies of reflections
initiated investigations that others pursued
even after he turned
into a flower a frog and a worm
perhaps even a tear or a puddle
From the investigations rose the foundations of our culture:
the looking-glass, painting, and the camera