Tali Cohen Shabtai (Colours of Love and Barriers)

Tali Cohen Shabtai

Tali Cohen Shabtai, born in Jerusalem, Israel, is a highly-esteemed international poet with works translated into many languages. She has authored four bilingual volumes of poetry, "Purple Diluted in a Black’s Thick"(2007), "Protest" (2012) and "Nine Years From You" (2018). A fourth volume, "A Woman Like Me," will be released in 2022. Tali began writing poetry at the age of six. She lived for many years in Oslo, Norway, and the U.S.A. and her poems express both the spiritual and physical freedom paradox of exile. Her cosmopolitan vision is obvious in her writings.  Tali is known in her country as a prominent poet with a unique narrative. As one commentator wrote: “She doesn’t give herself easily, but is subject to her own rules.”


Ideology as a way of life

Women like me, yes
have been added over the years to overshadow 
what preceded us 
that is mostly 
not in line 
with our agenda.

The accepted wording is 
not what 
will satisfy our desires – 

Desires? Ours? Well then, I write 
in the female first person plural 
so as not to sound 
as one who sins with pretension 
as an individual woman, 
however 
I do not have many female friends for this journey 
and those who have already passed 
through a station or two 
according to 
the 
fixed 
rules 
of society

A woman like me 
tries 
to stay free 
from society 
and at the same time 
to be in it 
with boycotts in double-digit ages 
until the arrival 
of the adolescence age 
and beyond

I bear this bitter 
in 
sult 
so far.

So! Spare judging 
me 
that “Cohen Shabtai 
has rules 
of her own…” 
as Amos Levitan wrote about me.

I came 
with the goal of 
satiating inspirations 
based on 
my theories 

Therefore 
I collect poems of the margins of humankind, 
since 
they have a greater potential 
to waver from 
the conventions – 
just like me! 
With 50 cents 
in my wallet 
live my own actions
lest
my inarticulate mouth 
will be passed over and my eyes? 
My eyes are blinded.

Women like me, particularly 
at the beginning of 
the fifteenth century 
were persecuted and burned 
for being independent and strong 
at the Catholic church’s instruction

Nowadays? You can petition 
the High Court of Justice. 
So it is for a woman like me

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