The Love of an Orange

By Dahlia Ravikovitch 1936–2005 Dahlia Ravikovitch

Translated By Chana Bloch and Chana Kronfeld Read the translator's notes

An orange did love   
The man who ate it.   
A feast for the eyes   
Is a fine repast;   
Its heart held fast   
His greedy gaze.   

A citron did scold:   
I am wiser than thou.   
A cedar condoled:   
Indeed thou shalt die!   
And who can revive   
A withered bough?   

The citron did urge:   
O fool, be wise.   
The cedar did rage:   
Slander and sin!   
Repent of thy ways   
For a fool I despise.   

An orange did love   
With life and limb   
The man who ate it,   
The man who flayed it.   

An orange did love   
The man who ate it,   
To its flayer it brought   
Flesh for the teeth.   

An orange, consumed   
By the man who ate it,   
Invaded his skin   
To the flesh beneath.

Source: Poetry (April 2009).


This poem originally appeared in the April 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

April 2009


Dahlia Ravikovitch is considered by many to be the greatest Hebrew woman poet of all time. Widely honored for her artistry and admired for her courage as a peace activist, she was awarded the Israel Prize, the highest national honor, and cited as “a central pillar of Hebrew lyric poetry.” Hovering at a Low Altitude: The Collected Poetry of Dahlia Ravikovitch (W.W. Norton, 2009) presents, for the first time in English, the full . . .

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Poems by Dahlia Ravikovitch

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SUBJECT Activities, Eating & Drinking


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