Tuesday, March 1, 2022

NilavroNIll Shoovro


From The Editor


This March 2022, Our Poetry Archive has completed seven years of online publishing. We had started our journey in April 2015. Now, this is March 2022. So far, we have published 84 monthly issues, along with seven annual anthologies of poetry on different themes. Anybody associated with Our Poetry Archive knows we published all the monthly issues right on time. On the first day of each month, our readers get new volumes of poems written by poets of different countries and continents. We have achieved a few things during this journey of seven years. Namely, recognition around the world fraternity of poets. Especially those who are not shy of online publishing. The viewership of Our Poetry Archive has crossed the number 700 000! If we consider the volume of online poetry websites, we can judge this achievement according to its merit. So, many readers are well aware of this online web journal.

During this journey of seven years, our primary focus was on punctuality, continuity, diversity, and quantity. We have already covered these areas with excellence. With the upcoming first issue of the eighth year, April 2022, we will earnestly try to develop the quality of the web journal. To ensure better quality, we have to be more selective. So, we have to reject mediocre poems. We know, quite a good number of poets will welcome this decision. We know others will be disheartened much not to see their poem in Our Poetry Archive. Mainly those with mediocre literary merit.

We hope they will develop their writing skills and produce qualitatively better poems. Certainly, we will publish good poems. All our focus should have to be around quality publications. We seek all-around cooperation from all the poets.

We can achieve this quality of upliftment only when our poets extend their support. So, the keywords are cooperation and continuous efforts to improve literary skills. We want to appeal to all our poet friends, please try to focus on this particular area. And encourage others to develop their writing skill.

Many would like to argue who should decide upon the literary merits of the poems written by a poet. Yes, it is a tricky question. Only time as the eternal and the ultimate judge can accurately filter literary creativities on literary merits. Yet, as an editor of any literary journal, one has to bear the responsibility to select quality works and publish them. Now with this editorial job of publishing the best literary works, the role of the editors is too important. The quality of the journal depends heavily on the editors. None can ensure, all the selections would be qualitatively brilliant. It can only help the readers to get selective poems of better literary merit. An editor or an editorial team only can do this. The rest depends on the poets. Even then, there would remain a possibility of the judgment of errors. We are all human. So, we cannot say all the rejected stuff is not good enough for publication anywhere. We can only assure we will try our best to select only the better poems for our upcoming issues.

Yet, the editor or the editorial team can never set guidelines or rules for the poets. How they should write better poems. We can only select the best poems according to their literary merits. We can only ask for quality submissions. We can only hope that most poets will support this new endeavor taken up by us. I have already confessed. We are not in a position to impose any guidelines. We are not in a situation to set any rules. We cannot dictate to any poet or anyone, how to write better poems of higher literary merits. Still, we can discuss a few common trends and beliefs. That prevents many of us from writing better poems of higher literary merits.

Most of the poets, those who have started publishing their poems only after the advent of social media, believe that writing poetry is a spontaneous expression of personal emotions. I do not adhere to this view. If, and only if poets can successfully transform these personal emotions into non-personal universal emotions. Only then do readers come back again and again to the literary works of the poet. They can connect their personal experiences with the universal experience of human beings. Readers will never return to go through the personal emotions of the poet. Sadly enough, most of us of only the online experience of publishing poetry do not understand the basic features of literature. Literature cannot be the spontaneous expression of the personal emotions of the author. I am not saying that an author should not express personal emotions. The authors' responsibility is to transform personal emotions into impersonal universal emotions. If, and only if poets can successfully transform these personal emotions into non-personal universal emotions. Only then do readers come back again and again to the literary works of the poet. They can connect their personal experiences with the universal experience of human beings.

Let me quote from the famous poet T. S. Eliot. “Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things”. I can only ask my fellow poets, especially those who believe in the spontaneous outflow of personal emotions into poetry, to reconsider their beliefs and view. We at Our Poetry Archive would like to follow the opinion of the famous poet T.S. Eliot. We wish to select the poems from the submission keeping this viewpoint in mind.

One more common feature that I would like to point out, in the form of writing poetry. Many poets, especially those who have started writing poetry recently and mainly on social media, write short articles instead of poems. Their writings move around a narration of their moral views of life. They narrate a story or a viewpoint in prose style or rhythm. That never becomes poetry. We are sorry to say, we would not publish these short of junks anymore. I know all these may start controversies all around. Still, I hope, those who realize the pros and cons of poetry, of the literary merits of the writing skills would not hesitate to welcome our decision.

With this hope, I would like to request all our friends and poets only to submit the best of their literary creativities. We are eager to nourish their creative brilliance through our constant endeavour to serve quality publications. 

NilavroNill Shoovro

From The Editorial Desk














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MARCH 2022

MARIA MIRAGLIA: When did you approach poetry?





MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Do you think of anyone to dedicate your words when writing?


TALI COHEN SHABTAI: I wrote about it in the poem "A Message"


‘To err is a human weakness. To forgive is a divine virtue.’

The loftiest of my triumphs is to forgive is when my works

are rejected

so you can see on the first page

of my book the names of the rejecters

with a blessing of thanksgiving


Indeed, of all the pages of the book, the dedication page alone is the author's most

private domain and I stumble from my habits to write

this time

dedication to some people in short versions.

Although this kind of dedication was intended for my enjoyment

and the objects of the dedication,

I also had no sentiments left in me

for the dearest man in my life.’


But this is not carried out in practice

In my new book, the dedication at the opening of the book

is to remind me that my right hand and borrowing another finger from my left hand

count the sum of the six creators that my books

are dedicated to – it’s my firm statement

as a creator and a person

and derived from a reliable tactic as a poet.

I love passers-by, acquaintances that cannot keep up with time, I love strangers because I'm a stranger.

But until the dedication, who knows maybe the next book I'll dedicate to the homeless woman I sat with in Los Angeles at 2:00 A.M.,

when she managed through the darkness

to tell me that my eyes were sad. -After all, I imported them all the way from Israel,

a country I won't dedicate a word to if I was already dealing with the “dedication”

and that "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and home.” I am a proven example of that.

Enough has been said about it.



MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Air, water, earth and fire. What element would you like to be in poetic terms?


TALI COHEN SHABTAI: The poet Zelda wrote a poem in her life in which she draws an analogy between two types of women, one with the element of "fire" and the other "earth." I corresponded with this poem in a poem I wrote "Two Elements: Reconstruction,” in my book “Nine Years From You.”  The poem metaphorically presents two elements represented by the flame and the cypress – the source of the flame in the fire element and the source of the cypress in the earth element. In my poem, I am perceived as the fire element: “the flame,” and on the other hand: the earth element are the women without a hint of frenzy and freedom, without a hint of imagination, they are silent and relaxed in contrast to me: and the flame rages. I'm captive to my own conventions, anyone as quiet and stable as the cypress type in the poem is the earth element that is dry and unimaginative. I would, if only for a few moments, choose the element that contrasts me: the element of earth, only to feel what it is like to come into being without a shred of madness, without a shred of logic, without a shred of freedom like the women of the earth element that awaken from their slumber in another galaxy…And they are on another way of a paragraph with a beginning, middle and end. A road without multiple lanes, no traffic arrangements are required and there is always some separation area. I would like to be, if only for a few moments, the earth element like the women sitting in front of me now in a lecture on medieval literature and all they are concerned about are the handkerchiefs on their heads and the babysitter they left at home while in it something was raging. The women of the earth type: For me, their ideology is organized according to stations: wife, mother and professional.  In conclusion: "We were perceived by the human eye as two elements: both for "cypress" – for the earth and I am "for fire" – for the flame. Yes. If for moments I would want to be like these women of the earth element that I would not understand, I will never understand.



MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what kind?


TALI COHEN SHABTAI: Music with a nerve conductor and anecdotes that will shock my subconscious as I will bleed from the intensity blood is an effective allegory when a woman like me writes. I cannot bear bland music – it does not have the vibration at all to provoke mute words. It is also advisable to have music that provokes involuntary distortions of crying between the five walls when I write. I use music regardless of religion, race and gender. I do not fixate on a single genre of music that contradicts my preference for the versatility and heterogeneity that my mindset likes when I spread my wings while I write beyond time also any kind of music that will challenge my intellect and opinion when I write – surely, I need at the end of a work to reach catharsis!



MARIA MIRAGLIA:  What did you feel when you held your first book  in  the hands?


TALI COHEN SHABTAI: It happened in 2006, when I was returning from a very long stay in Oslo, Norway. I left the Tel Aviv publishers to an unknown café, put bright red lipstick on my lips, wore huge rounded glasses from the 1960s that reach the middle of the nose and hide the middle of the eye located at the front of the head and well conceals the muscles of the “outside eyes” in each of my human eye sockets.  I wrote a purple dahlia flower and placed it behind the ear, on the side of my hair, the flower looked so pristine and more beautiful than any of the ornaments that female directors purchase in [upmarket] Medina Square.” And I broadcasted vitality. An anonymous man started talking to me and gave me a fictitious CD of him singing and playing the disk as I recall was the thickness of a standard Bristol board page and he left. I was happy to publish my first book even though most of my discourses and manuscripts do not amount to the tally of books I publish, and never amounted to that. I admit that I felt joy but also realistic! i.e., the book in my hand is not at all authorization that I am a poet, sorry, with all due respect, I am a poet from the age of six.



MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Where does poetry come from?


TALI COHEN SHABTAI: As opposed to “writing” concretely: My poetry comes from the heart. One of the theories that reinforce this is that the heart is the organ of life, a dynamic organ, a pulsating and necessary organ, and this proves very nicely that as long as my heart counts the qualities that I mentioned anatomically, then its mental characterization also works quite well – it is a static situation that preserves life in me. You don’t have to be a genius to realize that in a simplified interpretation I mean that as long as I live means I cannot allow my poetry to rest and this, delight in its honestly to me. All in all, the heart is an organ with a very significant and even prestigious title and pedigree and it awe-inspiringly knows to work together with my right hand when I write my poetry.



MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Is there a time of the day when you prefer writing?


TALI COHEN SHABTAI: I don't have meetings in my weekly schedule with muses and receiving inspirations at certain times of the day. However, you will often find in my frontal diary a black marker note "Finish/work on the poem "___" today."  The answer: I don’t have one. I am enslaved to my poetry, sleeping with a notepad the next day awaking with basic notes for a new poem from the brilliance of my head in the twilight zone that is the time between wakefulness and sleep the night before the day after my birth already lives in a new poem.



MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Does writing come from the heart or from the mind?


TALI COHEN SHABTAI: I don't know what the heart holds inside it, to be honest I don't touch the heart with my hands when I write and not at the highest part of my body: my head. I just know to recognize when I need to proactively vomit my words onto the page, like getting rid of food that is painful/rotten that I ate or was exposed to, thus avoiding receiving harmful and painful substances for my life. Of course, see this as a metaphor, too. Writing here is an auxiliary tool, among other things, for this. The writing comes as a reflex resembling a gag reflex. The sensitivity of this reflex is comparable to my writing reflex, part of which is to prevent unwanted objects from entering the throat of my life and of course, to prevent choking situations and spill the words in order to receive oxygen means release and problematic expression. For this purpose, among other reasons, I write.



MARIA MIRAGLIA:  What do you think of poetry and poets on the web?


TALI COHEN SHABTAI: It’s agreeable, for all the contempt and unbearable ease of crossing a border that an individual is willing to sacrifice for the publication of a poem in order to receive applause in the language of the internet. I am also published online but make a firm separation between the virtual and life, it is important that there be this proportion when it comes to, for example, a website that is the largest online social network in the world, and is available in more than 70 languages, with 800 million online activists on a daily basis. Everything else I'd rather save and keep to myself regarding this issue.



MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Who are your favourite contemporary poets and why?




TALI COHEN SHABTAI, born in Jerusalem, Israel, is a highly-esteemed international poet with works translated into many languages. She has authored three bilingual volumes of poetry, "Purple Diluted in a Black’s Thick"(2007), "Protest" (2012) and "Nine Years From You"(2018). A fourth volume is forthcoming in 2022. Tali began writing poetry at the age of six. She lived for many years in Oslo, Norway, and the U.S.A., and her poems express both the spiritual and physical freedom paradox of exile. Her cosmopolitan vision is obvious in her writings. Tali is known in her country as a prominent poet with a unique narrative. As one commentator wrote: “She doesn’t give herself easily, but is subject to her own rules.”








You are willing to come

To Jerusalem

Where I kill myself

Every single day -


You can't live in a place

Where the Transfer is

Conceptually different

For you –


As much as you warned me

About America


Where people don't realize "

The difference between Poetry

And Song",


I want to go back to

Europe - where people live

By caricatures


You say you like Jews


You thought I came from

Those countries - where it is forbidden

To uproot

My Ghetto


So I am going to the hospital

What the hospital asks

Is one less lady

Who smiles



My Doctor


I have

My own "Thousand"

Carring your signture.


I wear them as an amulet--


Much like Umm Kulthum's scarf amulet

The one she carried at every performance,

With a Thousand seeds of Parisian cocIne in it


I walk with them--


Like the thousand chemicals

In the poison that

Nietzsche carried permanently

In his pocket


But I don't praise it--


So don't ever try to train my brains

To be pleased

You know my heroes,

I was happy before I knew them


Before I barely knew

The difference between you and

A passer-by.





I live with a vieille dame

Among her Prozac and cigarettes


She welcomed me by a first introduction

With Anne Sexton's book in 1967


She gave me a contract to stay neurotic in her


And behave like a

Petite Muette beside her bedroom


At that time she looked like a hostess in a house of ill


Walking like a salonnière in her salon littéraire (never with visitors)

With that appearance of maison-close, then

She invited men to clean her old furniture

From new dust


I met her first seven years ago,

The time it took for her foundation

To blend un parfume

To her taste

Less than the time it took me to find

The favored delicacy for my

Lady cat


I barely could read her language, but –


We were aware to the provocation of



She would not be surprised by any disgrace

I would bring into my life


Neither by any sensation I would choose to have

In my colors le matin.


She warned me from being a

Poète maudit  – a cursed poet.


I watched her, I knew.

It all started with a clothes cupboard



Such A Therapist


I play games in my mind – behind papers never

Written about the tired person I am –


She’s trying to praise my grief

On papers gone to early retirement

On shelves of book stores

Where the bourgeois are the first clients to borrow

The fairy tale that’s posted in Friday’s edition of a

Leftist Magazine


She’s trying to decorate me with

A lower analogy of R.I.P. poets

Who produced the best comedies

Of their life

By blank papers and faked orgasm

And ending

As their own hangmen


But She, She must be warned! It’s a static position!


« A woman who gets lost,


In translation »

Will never be tested twice

Not in this scenario.





You look

At the crimson lipstick

Setting it against the faded color

Of your life.


She must be courageous

To wear that color

In days of mourning.


"I'm bleeding".


No, you can't

Be that brave.


She smiles.




TALI COHEN SHABTAI, born in Jerusalem, Israel, is a highly-esteemed international poet with works translated into many languages.  She has authored three bilingual volumes of poetry, "Purple Diluted in a Black’s Thick"(2007), "Protest" (2012) and "Nine Years From You"(2018). A fourth volume is forthcoming in 2022. Tali began writing poetry at the age of six. She lived for many years in Oslo, Norway, and the U.S.A., and her poems express both the spiritual and physical freedom paradox of exile. Her cosmopolitan vision is obvious in her writings. Tali is known in her country as a prominent poet with a unique narrative. As one commentator wrote: “She doesn’t give herself easily, but is subject to her own rules.”






Elena And León



4th century, beginning, Rome.

Warriors seized power in the great empire

and the world, already lying in the twilight,

it was ready to go into the dark and die.


Not Flora, not Mercury, not Venus,

It is not Mars, it is not an Olympic leader.

We go into battle with Christ, with the faith of Christ,

and people are scared to death!


The town was broken by the decree of Maximiano.

The decree was ruthless and cruel

henceforth he would forbid Christians

to believe that the Jewish vagabond is God.


The time has come for repression and persecution.

It's time for torture and crazy death

people got on their knees

betraying Christ in exchange for the lives of the children.


The children of Christ were forced

offering the sacrifices of the Roman altars,

otherwise they were waiting

fragments of flesh on the fangs of beasts.


Liturgical vessels are sent to melt

in buckles and clasps for soldiers

and the relics that are an exceptional miracle

they lay like remains of dogs.


Ruins of basilicas.

Flying ashes from burned books

gave birth to a silent cry of helplessness in the people,

it turned into a loud scream.


Not everyone during a period of terrible violence is left

without murmurs, without fear and without words

having abandoned the spirit, they ascended to heaven,

leaving the meat to look at the world from the crosses!


Translation by: Marlene Pasini


Returning To God


"Lord, I cry out to you, listen

remember the voice of my prayer ”.

Psalm 140


Tell me, tell me, tell me, tell me

to me with a star of truth in the constellation of lies.

Explain to me, how the earthly torment will end?

A series of boring days that drains to death?

Or is it that no one will ever know?


Guide me, guide me, guide me, guide me

to a world where the rains do not cry of sadness,

a world of smiles, funny and happy songs,

to a world where eternal happiness and tenderness are in the chest,

where my little world is interesting for everyone.


Protect me, protect me, protect me, protect me

of the vices that I will find along the way.

I am earthly and subject to material influence

Stay with me, help me walk the path

Help me not to shake my foundation!


Confirm me, confirm me, confirm me, confirm me

that I will still see you ahead.

All hope is in you, comfort is your word.

Take me out of earthly doubts,

and I will believe in happiness again, as in my youth.


The Sweet Martyr

A fragment from the poem


Rumors are flies and the tattles are gadflies

Feeling the high blood and stinging aggressively,

Driving the sting into flesh and the souls

Of the sovereigns and royal successors shamelessly.


The virulent piercers in Russian Empire

Fell to the lady from Alemannia,

That one inspiring love and admiration

Of high-minded Romanov, son of Emperor.


Anna, excuse me, I state things straightforwardly,

Wounding your feelings by tactless pronouncements,

Cannot be secretive, cannot gloss over,

Thoughts seething madly in brain like denouncements.


In former times, you remember, the common herd

Twisted the face with dislike for the empress,

As if for dinner not vodka, but cider

Is served with steak that is coarse and tasteless.


Members of gentry glanced at her askance,

Merchants did not start to dance with excitement.

Gingerbread cookies baked in the Russian lands

Didn't accept Alemannic sweet items.


Old and young, in a jacket and fashions,

Did not compassion the peregrine queen.

The ancestor worship is dear to Russians,

The image of Mother is in the genes!


Father the Tsar, and the queen should be Mother!

But she was born by the Britons and Germans.

To understand  Russian world like the others

For stranger's heart is extremely uncommon!


You may the name Alexandra receive,

You may feel alone so much less,

But cannot wear your heart on your sleeve,

Because you are proud Alice of Hesse.


Big Russian soul cannot be bought!

You are a Russian since you were born –

With Pushkin, Yesenin, the noise of birches,

With tear of the Virgin inside your core!


Translation: Marlene Pasini