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Poems by Dan Pagis

Shoshana Olidort
Published on 
September 14, 2020


A frantic ring at the door. I’m no longer home,

I’ll return tomorrow.

Ringing. I’m no longer in the city,

I’ll return the day after tomorrow.

I’m no longer,

I’ll return at the End of Days.

Now they are breaking through the door.

Fools. I don’t intend

to be born, ever.[1]




I hid in the room, but forgot where.

I’m not in the closet.

And not behind the curtain.

Nor in the great fortress between the table legs.

The mirror is empty of me.

For a moment it seems to me that I am in the picture on the wall.

One day, if someone comes and calls me

I’ll answer and I’ll know: here I am.[2]


“A Funny Question”


Like the absent-minded professor who called home and asked, “I am here, where am I supposed to be?” I called and I asked, “I am Dan, who am I supposed to be?” and because of so much absent-mindedness, I didn’t notice that the line was busy.[3]





[1] Pagis, Kol ha-shirim, 224.

[2] Ibid., 244.

[3] Ibid., 290.