Saturday, December 8, 2007

In Memoriam, Moshe Ben-Shaul

A slender, aging man in jeans and T-Shirt was sitting on the rooftop of Sabkuch Milega, an Indian restaurant in Florentine. The day was hot, but there was no room for him in the shade. Moshe Ben-Shaul was the only person over 35 years old to take part in Ketem's forum for translators. He refused to take my seat in the shade, refused to be "the old guy".

Moshe was in love with youth. Ironically he dedicated the later decades of his life to the early decades of another man's life. His translations from the works of Arthur Rimbaud were an invaluable gift to the Hebrew reader. Rimbaud produced all of his poetic output between the ages of 15 and 19. Moshe translated it in his 60s and 70s.

When given the microphone at the Sabkuch Milega, he preceded his reading from Rimbaud with a reading of his own poem dedicated to the French prodigy. It was entitled: "I Am Speaking with a Dead Poet". Thursday night, at the age of 77, he joined Rimbaud at the super-hip bohemian cafe in the sky. Now they're really going to chat.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your touching comment.
Ido Ben-Shaul