The Power of a Question


You are sinking. There is no question.
There is nothing you want.
The woman has become a fading flame.
The book's title page is sealed with no solace.
Even a drop of Mozart
does not sweeten
the aridity of the hour.
You are a squirrel in confrontation
with an uncracked nut
and the marvelous computer
is refusing to serve.

But a bright voice on the telephone
transmits a question:
Is it not accurate to assume
that the word "then" does not exist
in your poetical time,
and that everything is actually a single boundless present?

I said yes and the responsiveness that was lost to me
flowered again.
Strange, the power of a question.


                          Hebrew; trans. Leon Wieseltier


Gabriel Preil, Hebrew, trans. Leon Wieseltier, Poetry, The Poetry Foundation, April, 2006.