Monday, October 30, 2006

High Notes from the Translators' conference:

Bringing the conference to a close was a hearty event called Declamacion! . Conferents who made it to the last evening were invited to recite a poem in translation, completely from memory. It had to be another person's poem, not their own. Barbara Paschke (University of Kansas) hosted the evening with much gumption and verve. Kicking off the recitation ball was Howard Scott, an energetic and talented translator of Quebec, who declaimed quite lustily a very naughty poem by Richard Desjardins. Here's the poem in the French origin:

La caissière populaire / Richard Desjardins

La caissière populaire relève sa robe
et me montre son guichet automatique.
Elle m'avertit que j'ai besoin de deux pièces d'identité.
Bon !
Je baisse mes pantalons , et je lui montre ma carte de guichet.
Elle la tourne et la retourne dans ses mains. Elle dit :
" Elle est très belle mais ce n'est pas assez. "
Bon !J'enlève mon chandail
et je me plonge la main droite dans la poitrine
.Je m'arrache le cœur
que je dépose encore chaud et battant sur son comptoir.
Elle le prend dans ses mains, le tourne, le retourne, me dit
:" Il n'y a pas de signature
.Il me faut quelque chose avec une signature. "
Bon !
Je m'arrache les dentiers
et je les lance vers la caissière populaire
qui les attrape et qui se les met sur la tête
comme une couronne de reine de carnaval.
Elle pleure. Je meurs.
Maintenant j'ai un masque de gardien de but
et j'ai une grosse hache qui brille qui brille comme sa couronne de carnaval
et c'est un vendredi 13 dans la trrrès belle ville de Quebec.
Mon masque a un smile que seule la mort peut satisfaire
et je lève très haut la hache dans les airs et j'y dis:

" c'est pour un dépôt" .

I emailed Mr. Scott asking for his translation. If I get it, I'll post it here so that readers who are not familar with the French language can enjoy it too. Just to give you an idea, the poem describes a man who is in the throes of making a transaction with a beautiful bank cashier, who keeps demanding from him proof of one kind or another. . And he complies, willingly, lasciviously, roaringly. .

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Moody Note

A poem both incarnates and transmits life. A poem is and a poem does.To the question,

"What are poets for a morally bankrupt time?"

Irving Layton answers,

"in the creative word lies redemption"


"Utterance alone can heal the ailing spirit
and make man and poet a single self;
bring back the long vein of memory
the laughter and wholeness of childhhod."

(The Carillon")

And about the poet:

A quiet madman, never far from tears,
I lie like a slain thing
under the green air the trees
inhabit, or rest upon a chair
towards which the inflammable air
tumbles on many robins' wings;
noting how seasonably
leaf and blossom uncurl
and living things arrange their death,
while someone from afar off
blows birthday candles for the world.

(The Birth of Tragedy)

There is also the midnight madman of TS Eliot, shaking the dead geranium. It's actually all there: madness, darkness, life and death. Maybe the poet's role in destitute times is to bring that dead geranium to life, by any means he can.

An excerpt from Ralph Angel's poem:


In the darkest of circumstances
I too have dialed the number
and thought twice and tested each one of them
as if anybody stands a chance around here
and no one carries our messages.
If there's something you still need
believe me
they will pick up the phone.
Because the body's not stupid.
Because the flesh remembers
and taking care comes first.
A young mother cradles an infant to her breast
and it feels like love.
Like we can do something.
Because you would save every last one of them
you are already forgiven.
It doesn't matter now
that nothing in this world is direct.
Our life is layered.
First we weep
and then we listen and eat something
and weep again
and listen.
And eat again.
And it doesn't matter anymore
at the bottom of your story
at the very-most bottom of recovery.
And confession.

Friday, October 27, 2006


Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!

Some kill their love when they are young,
And some when they are old;
Some strangle with the hands of Lust,
Some with the hands of Gold:
The kindest use a knife, because
The dead so soon grow cold.

Some love too little, some too long,
Some sell, and others buy;
Some do the deed with many tears,
And some without a sigh:
For each man kills the thing he loves,
Yet each man does not die.

From: The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde

Thursday, October 26, 2006


On Saturday, between Matins and evening Declamacion!, I went to see "Arms and the Man" a play by Bernard Shaw. Shaw's sparkling plays are rarely staged these days, especially in my neck of the woods. You can therefore imagine my joy when I found out that this particular play, which I read many times, but had never seen performed, was being staged at the very time I was staying there! I caught a matinee, the one but last of its performance!

The Theatre, where the play is performed, is a quaint little place in a pretty shabby looking building in Greenwood. From what I could see, Greenwood appeared to be a blue-collar neightbourhood. In the immediate vicinity of the threatre, I spotted two thrift shops and a wonderful educational toy store. I found this mixture of humility and genuine culture a most refreshing diversion from the glitz of downtown Seattle's fashionable shops and endless restaurants and hotels.

The theatre itself is Shakespearean, that is, the stage is not an enclave in the wall, separated from the audience by curtains but rather an extension into the theatre, with people seated around it. Sometimes the actors would come in from the wings, sometimes through the main doors. The "Khan" theatre in Jerusalem favours the same arrangement. It creates an intimacy between the viewers and the actors, as though we are being included in the unfolding story. I suppose this is a feature characteristic of small theatres with a special repertory.

The play itself was absolutely delightful. I could not have hoped for better. The actress played Raina's the semi-hysterical, stylized, whimsical romanticism with perfect pitch. She was an Elizabeth Bennet struggling to extricate herself from a Marianne Dashwood packaging, and she could not achieve this metamorphosis without the love of a good man. And the good man was everything she had always thought was the wrong man for her. She is completely surprised by her own discernment, as she senses that this chocolate-cream soldier, who would rather hide in her bedroom than be heroically killed, was actually more manly and brave than the swaggering (though essentially charming and good hearted) Bulgarian military officer, Sergius. Eventually, they all learn to substitute their high-faluting false notes of pretensions and shallow passions for real life commitments.

"Soldiering, my dear madam, is the coward's art of attacking mercilessly when you are strong, and keeping out of harm's way when you are weak. That is the whole secret of successful fighting. Get your enemy at a disadvantage; and never, on any account, fight him on equal terms."

"My rank is the highest known in Switzerland: I'm a free citizen."

Hear! Hear! Hooray to GBS!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


I came back last night, sick as a dog. I still am. I spent an interesting 6 days and nights in at my translators' conference and came away with a lot of new ideas and new names to pursue.

In a panel entitled, "Poets translating poets" which was one of the highlights of the conference for me, I made the acquaintance of Ralph Angel. I had never heard of him before. I was totally blown away when, in charting the layering and topography of his own complex identity, he echoed with eerie familiarity, all the influences and currents that directed, still direct, my own identity. And here I was, thinking I was so unique! From the Ladino musicality of the Sephardim to the Turkish and Greek fertilizers of the culture of Jewish-Spanish diaspora, 600 years after the expelled had no longer any congress with their mother-ship, to the irresistible pull of the Flamenco staccato longing, inevitably leading to falling eternally in love with the poetry of Lorca and his duende, to the lifelong involvement with English literature, it is all there, in this poet, translator and teacher of English Literature! Quite amazing.

But he says it better himself:

I am convinced that some languages, languages we neither speak nor understand, are familiar to the ear. For myself, the romance and Semitic languages, the languages of the Mediterranean and the Middle East are familiar to my ear, as opposed, letÂ’s say, to Slavic and Asian languages.

I come from a household of three languages—Ladino, Hebrew, and English—one that I could understand but not speak, one that I could sing but not understand, and one that is the language of my country, at some distance, always, from my own home.

So I understand Spanish, can speak it somewhat, and am still studying its nuances. I can read the poetry of Federico García Lorca in the original. And I was drawn to one particular book of his, Poema del Cante Jondo / Poem of the Deep Song, in part because I was drawn to the music it pays homage to, which also, strangely and surprisingly, was familiar to my ear. It resembled the incantatory medieval singing of the Sephardic synagogue that I grew up in.

I had originally planned on attending the Saturday services in one of the Sephardic synagogues in Seattle. Seattle, it appears, is home to one of the largest Sephardic communities in the world, probably only second to Israel's. By "sephardic" I mean the direct descendants of the Jews explelled from Spain in 1492, and who preserved their special language, the Ladino, and culture throughtout the ages, mostly in Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Italy. They also preserved their musical heritage in both their romancero and lithurgical renditions. These sounds I miss terribly. I have not heard a truly Sephardic prayer since my grandfather passed away. He had the most beautiful voice and could easily outsing the cantor. So I wanted very much to seize this rare opportunity of actually being in Seattle to re-capture some of that childhood magic. But other duties called and I had to make a choice. And I did not go.

More on the conference, when I feel a little better. Until then, I'll leave you with this translation of "La Solea", which, if you recall, I tried to translate a few posts earlier, before I ever heard of Ralph Angel.

SOLEà by Federico García Lorca

Wearing black mantillas,
she thinks the world is tiny
and the heart immense.

Wearing black mantillas.

She thinks that tender sighs
and cries disappear
into currents of wind.

Wearing black mantillas.

The door was left open,
and at dawn the entire sky
emptied onto her balcony.

Ay yayayayay,

wearing black mantillas!

Translated from the Spanish by Ralph Angel

Monday, October 16, 2006

When it comes to the coverage of Middle East conflicts involving Israel, we witnessed the distortions, exaggerated numbers, doctoring of pictures, staging scenes, propagation of false atrocities (such as in "Jenin Massacre" that never was), the mythification of incidents based on false or cleverly- manufactured reportage (the "Al-Dura" case). Someday I'll compile the long list of "liberal" media series of blood libels and other slanderous narratives, whether explicit or implicit, against Israel. Right now I'm too overwhelmed with this latest news from and about the august BBC, working to withhold a lengthy report from the public which it purposts to serve ethically and truthfully.

And suppose the report is released and its message is a clear and incisive analysis of BBC's anti-Israel bias cleverly worked into its "news" reportage, will it cause people to pause, reflect, re-adjust their thinking and convictions when it comes to the way they view Israel? I doubt it. The BBC would not have gone the way it did if it weren't for knowledge that this bias would be eminently welcome and digestible among its viewers. Just as the BBC as a media outlet is responsible for putting out truthful reports, cleansed of biase or emotionas, so is the viewership responsible for implicitly and tacitly accepting these type of reporting, uncritically, willingly, maybe even gladly.

In other words, the BBC's anti-Israel bias would not have been as sustainable as it has been without an anticipation of the favourable reception of its biased narratives.

Like all public bodies, the BBC is obliged to release information about itself under the Act. However, along with Channel 4, Britain's other public service broadcaster, it is allowed to hold back material that deals with the production of its art, entertainment and journalism.
The High Court action is the latest stage of a lengthy and expensive battle by Steven Sugar, a lawyer, to get access to the document, which was compiled by Malcolm Balen, a senior editorial adviser, in 2004.

Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner, who is responsible for the workings of the Act, agreed with the BBC that the document, which examines hundreds of hours of its radio and television broadcasts, could be held back. However, Mr Sugar appealed and, after a two-day hearing at which the BBC was represented by two barristers, the Information Tribunal found in his favour.

Mr Sugar said: "This is a serious report about a serious issue and has been compiled with public money. I lodged the request because I was concerned that the BBC's reporting of the second intifada was seriously unbalanced against Israel, but I think there are other issues at stake now in the light of the BBC's reaction."

The BBC's coverage of the Middle East has been frequently condemned for a perceived anti-Israeli bias.

In 2004, for example, Barbara Plett, a Middle East correspondent, was criticised for revealing in an episode of Radio 4's From Our Own Correspondent that she had been moved to tears by the plight of the dying Yasser Arafat. MPs said it proved that the corporation was incapable of presenting a balanced account of issues in the Middle East.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Alan Dershowitz, in this article, expresses a similar anxiety about Michael Ignatieff's opinion concerning Israel's attack at Qana. He also shares my initial affection and respect for Ignatieff and allows him the benefit of a doubt.

There are several possible answers. The first is that he simply misspoke in the course of an interview in which he wanted to make up for his past misstatement. If that is the case, he should be accused only of carelessness. The second possible explanation has far greater implications for his candidacy to lead a great political party.

It is possible that he believes that even if the Israeli killing of Lebanese civilians was an unintended consequence of its efforts to prevent rocket attacks against its own civilians, it was still a war crime. Such a view would reflect a perverse and dangerous approach to international law that would make it nearly impossible for democracies to protect its civilians from terrorists who launch rockets from civilian population centres. It would also encourage other terrorist groups to emulate the tactic employed by Hezbollah in its recent war against Israel: to use local civilians as human shields behind whom the terrorists fire their rockets at enemy civilians. This gives the democracy only two choices: to protect its civilians by destroying the rocket launchers even if that means some civilians will inevitably be killed; or do nothing and allow its own civilians to be targeted. Faced with this choice of evils imposed by the terrorist, every democracy would chose to protect its own civilians, as Israel did.

Yet there are some who would deem such legitimate self-defence to be a war crime. Most prominent among them is Canada's own Louise Arbour, a former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and currently the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights. Even before the war in Lebanon was over, Arbour rushed to judgment and threatened "personal criminal responsibility" against Israeli generals and political leaders for their attacks on areas in which civilians live. Her benighted view is that any shelling of cities -- regardless of the threat posed to Israeli civilians by rockets being fired from these cities -- "constitutes a foreseeable and unacceptable targeting of civilians." Let's be clear what this means: If Hezbollah (or Iran) were firing nuclear or biological weapons at a democracy from Beirut (or Tehran), the democracy would be committing a war crime if it tried to destroy the enemy rockets by pinpoint bombing, as long as there was any "foreseeable" risk to civilians. This formulation would make war criminals out of the United States, Canada, Great Britain and all the Allies during the Second World War and in the current war against terrorism.

Here is sharper criticism by Clifford Orwin directed at Ignatieff, though expressing basically the very same concerns I have and which Mr. Dershowitz delineated with such clarity:

But he did say it, and so felt called on to unsay it, by making his recent equally injudicious remark. Having earlier alienated Muslims, one erstwhile Liberal constituency, he has now atoned by offending Jews, another.

Late yesterday, Mr. Ignatieff issued a statement reaffirming his lifelong support for Israel and its right to defend itself, and describing Qana as a "terrible human tragedy." He did not clarify or allude to his recent remark about the war crime.

Is Mr. Ignatieff condemned to lurch from one wrong to another, hoping that somehow the two will make a right? Is this his sorry version of even-handedness? The usual likenings of him to George Bush are partisan, malicious and unfair. But, to quote the late Ann Richards's great line, Mr. Bush was born with a silver foot in his mouth. Will this prove Mr. Ignatieff's epitaph as well?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

It appears here that I may have been a bit harsh yesterday in my letter to Mr. Ignatieff. He seems to be in agreement with the main arguments of my expostulation to him:

"This is a serious matter precisely because Israel has a record of compliance, concern and respect for the laws of war and human rights.

"I'm going to Israel precisely because those reports are contested by the state of Israel, and because I want to be a responsible commentator, I owe it to myself and my constituents and the Jewish community to go to Israel and learn first-hand their own view on the situation."

Someone suggested that Ignatieff "[i]s trying for a balanced position on the ME and that's what surveys show most Canadians want" . This is a representative view of the classical fence-straddlers, the staunch by-standers who want to be nice to both Jews and anti-semites. This kind of view, that a leader shows leadership by doing what the current Public opinion polls show, is the most irresponsible type of moral leadership. It means that the central raison d'etre of a leader is to please and appease as many people as possible, to be lead by the people instead of doing the leading. Moral, strong leadership is about doing what is just and decent, not what is convenient and popular.

Canadians have become enfeebled and irrelevant in their quest for "balance" when it comes to US versus "the World" or Israel versus the Arab world. The easiest thing for a politician is to follow the mood in the street and treat Israel as Arab minorities in Canada and all Arab and Muslim countries, want it treated, like a pariah country, which is the coded intention of what "balance" in this context means. There is no escaping the truth that emanated from the mass demonstrations in Montreal last summer where huge crowds chanted anti-Israel slogans and carried banners declaring "We are all Hizzballa" now.

"We are all Hizzballas" is what people mean when they call for more "balance" in Canadian approach to the Middle East. Is this really the kind of sentiment and principle that a moral, ethical leader ought to cater to, when he seeks to lead Canadians?

In true leadership, a man stands out from the noise and bluster, and pulls the madding crowds over the horizon, into other types of considerations than just the immediately desirable. We know a great leader when he is presented to us by circumstance. Michael Ignatieff has that potential. Will he become just another politician, instead?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Letter to Michael Ignatieff, in response to this:

Dear Mr. Ignatieff:

Only recently have I become aware of the great storm that your comments about the Israel-Lebanon war last summer provoked.

I do not share in Mr. Harper's accusation of you being anti-Israel, but I do have great sympathy and understanding for the anxiety that your words caused in the Jewish community. When I heard of your move into politics, I was somewhat worried that you would not be able to sustain that intellectual decency and fairness which I always associated with your academic work. And I consider this incident as an illustration of that anxiety. It's not the actual wording of your message that matters. People with a crucial stake in the conflict, on either side, are not listening to the words. They are looking for the hidden message, the coded signification concealed within the folds between the words and they are all too politically savvy to miss the nuances.

Thus, when you speak of Qana here:

Hezbollah’s strategy is to lure Israel into an escalation of violence that will radicalize the Arab world and cause Israel to lose its remaining international support. The terrible tragedy in Qana, which claimed 57 lives, is thus a victory for Hezbollah.

you de-facto accept the Lebanese inflated number of deaths. The real number was put at 28 lost lives. You ignored that, and one wonders if that was a genuine mistake (which I can't believe) or an attempt to mollify Lebanese outrage by siding with their fake numbers.

Furthermore, when you are leaving the task of determining whether a "war crime" was committed by Israel in Qana to international bodies, you are not being straightforward about it. You are saying you are going to abide by those decisions. Now we know how the record stands as far as justice for Israeli life is concerned, when it comes to international bodies. Let me remind you of the ICJ ruling on the matter of the Fence, and the hundreds of anti-Israeli UN resolutions, which automatically stake the deck against any fair judgment of Israel's actions. No, Mr. Ignatieff, referring Israel's alleged crimes to an international body for judgment is taking an a-priori anti-Israel position. In this, I agree that your position could be construed as anti-Israeli. Don’t ask me about an alternative path. Israel is a country of law and order, where its courts dearly and sacredly uphold justice for all. You lived and taught in Israel. You must be aware of the impeccable integrity of its Supreme Court, where such charges are determined. They are the ones that ought to weigh in on the veracity of this accusation.

You ought to keep close to your academic decency, which was manifest in what you wrote in your book: "Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry”

Global human rights consciousness, moreover, does not necessarily imply that the groups defending human rights actually believe the same things. Many of these NGO’s espouse the universalist language of human rights but actually use it to defend highly particularist causes: the rights of particular national groups or minorities or classes or persons… The problem is that particularism conflicts with universalism at the point at which one’s commitment to a group leads one to countenance human rights violations towards another group.

Only a few days ago, Mary Robinson voiced a rare concern for the bowdlerization of the noble mission of human rights when she said this:

I hoped that the Human Rights Council would act in a human rights way, and set up a commission of inquiry into both [human rights violations by Israel and Hizbollah]. Alas - and this was a problem of the previous Human Rights Commission - it only set up a commission of inquiry into what had happened in Israel, by the Israel forces. And that is not the human rights approach; that is the political approach. And if the Human Rights Council continues to taint human rights with the political approach, this time because of the Organization of the Islamic Conference countries... They had the majority, they wanted to hit Israel, not do human rights work.

So that's one very big problem. And then, I would very much agree with Human Rights Watch. How can you have a Human Rights Council that's not absolutely outraged by what's happening in Darfur? It's getting worse by the

It was a surprising attempt to rid the subject of human rights, which is about the right of the individual human being to live in safety and peace, of the particularism and antisemitic language that have accrued to it. And I am not conflating what is called legitimate criticism of Israeli actions, whether I agree with that criticism or not, with the anti-Semitic idea that Israelis (aka Jews) are less entitled to defend the lives of their citizens than any other nation on earth.

I live in Montreal, where my son's school was firebombed by two Palestinian youths, where a shopper at "Adonis", a supermarket catering to Lebanese Montrealers, asked a Jewish woman to not shop there anymore, because she refused to donate money to Lebanese victims. These are the risks to the peaceful everyday life of the Jewish community, a harbinger of things to come.

Your carefully worded speech is not heard for what it, or you, want to say. It is read for what people can squeeze out of it, in the service of their own interests. It enables to feed their outrage and sense of entitlement. These are intoxicating emotions. You are not just a politician, you are an ethicist, and you have to take these consequences and misreading into account, before you opt for appeasement of a perpetually disgruntled population with maximalist expectations.

I am nearly heart broken over your moral abdication of an obligation to make sure that the universal application of human rights will not become ever again a political gambit, Mr. Ignatieff.


Upon further reflection, I decided that my best option would be to read a translation from Hebrew. After all, the main business of the conference is Scandinavia meeting Asia. So where would Spain fit into this, hah? Not exactly. Right.

So here I am posting again a poem by the late Israeli poet, Yehuda Amichai, in my translation. There are a few versions of this poem in its English translation, but translators are notorious for never agreeing with each other about translations and meanings and the best way of transfering from one language to another. Always, upon reading a translation from the same language, some translator will wince slightly, poiltely and beg to differ. I am not different. I read the available translations of this important and poignant poem, and I felt like a thirsty person whose thirst, even after drinking an entire bottle of water, is not quenched. I am not pretending that my translation is the best or most valid. For me, it conveys more accurately the mood and direction of the poem:

God pities the kindergarten children,
And school children he pities less.
Grownups he pities not at all.
He drops them by the wayside,
And sometimes they have to crawl on hands and knees
In the scorching sand
To reach the first aid station,
Sweating blood.

He may have some pity to spare
for those who love truly
He favours them
And extends his shade over them
Like the tree that bows over
The homeless man
That sleeps in the public park

Perhaps we too can take out
The few talents of grace
Mother left us.
Perhaps their happiness will shield us
Today and for the rest of time

Yehuda Amichai


Shylock in Translation:

The way the character of Shylock was translated, interpreted and received in different cultures, across time and continents, can be most instructive in observing how translation work by its reception in different cultures.

In choosing Shylock, it was my intention to indicate how easily he went from a rather banal Italian Jewish stereotype to hold a mythical place in the pantheon of Western prejudices and xenophobia. His translatability into the different European cultures among which he thrived made him an authentic character, which every European nation could claim as its own.

In this segment I will look at a sampling of Shylock representations, both classical and modern; how a stereotype encountered in literature and interpreted in translations can serve to illuminate and counter itself.

My presentation will include some short excerpts from movies and archived filmed of performances of the play to illustrate my point.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Noga's Creative Endeavors:

I've kept away from the blog for so long that I forgot my password. So I tried the usual combination I use almost everywhere else and it worked. Wow. What a long memory these things have. I mean, they forget nothing! Like my mother... She can still admonish me for something I did when I was 9 years old.

I'm toying with the idea of changing the name of my blog. I have not been too political in my posts here and I feel such a name is just too pretentious and undeserved. Maybe I'll cut the "centrist" and remain only "contentious" which may serve as an indicator of a personality trait and no more.

I'm getting ready for a conference where I'll be giving and receving some of my favourite wisdoms in literary translation. I'm so excited I could pop. I'll post a precis of the paper I intend to read.

And here are two poems I translated. I have yet to make up my mind which I will read during a Declamacion session:

La Soleá / Federico Garcia Lorca

Vestida con mantos negros
piensa que el mundo es chiquito
y el corazón es inmenso.

Vestida con mantos negros.

Piensa que el suspiro tierno
y el grito, desaparecen
en la corriente del viento.

Vestida con mantos negros.

Se dejó el balcón abierto
y el alba por el balcón
desembocó todo el cielo. ˇ

Ay yayayayay,

que vestida con mantos negros!

And here's my translation:

The Soleá

In her black robes
She thinks the world is tiny

and the heart is immense.

In her black robes

she thinks the softest whimper
and the fiercest wail
in the swirl of wind evanesce

In her black robes

she left the balcony open
and the resplendent dawn sky
through the balcony cascaded

Ay yayayayay

In her black robes

Here's a famous Hebrew poem:

A walk to Caesaria/ by Hannah Senesh

אלי, אלי, שלא יגמר לעולם
החול והים
רישרוש של המים
ברק השמים
תפילת האדם

And my translation:

O God, My Own God
this must never end
the sea, the sand,
the soft whisper of lapping waves
the splendour of the skies

A prayer of Mankind