Tali Cohen Shabtai

Tali Cohen Shabtai was born in Jerusalem, Israel, and is an international poet of high esteem with works translated into many languages.

 She is the author of 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 2021.  She has lived many years in Oslo, Norway, and in the U.S.A.

Tali is known in her country as a very prominent as a poet with a special lyric, “she doesn’t give herself easily, but subject to her own rules”.

Tali is living in Chicago.


Jerusalem sits in front of me at this moment
as a valley from Yonah Wallach’s poem “Strawberries” 
in a sculpture 
legs folded in a clear
design shape

And if it is considered important / this is because 
the sitting position (hers) 
is a very important parameter to 
the body language of Jerusalem.  

And the long black hair of Jerusalem 
turned from valproic acid 
into molting and short, the kind that in 
ancient times 
was a symbol of surrender, castration and loss of power.

And Jerusalem's new cycle
already does not bleed once
a month
it has become an Amnorea scenario 
from a high level of prolactin. 

And Jerusalem’s teeth are so 
considering the linguistics that exist 
in other cities 
she is in orthodontic care 
at a time 
of age and her teeth are in a doubtable 
gripping state

And that is because no 
initial orthodontic 
examination was conducted 
at the age of six, 
when the permanent incisors emerged.

When Jerusalem smiles, Oh! When she 
smiles in camouflage
and rolls a cigarette 
with her fingers 
in a rolling machine from her pouch
Camel shredded tobacco, 

then can you notice
the wrinkles of the smile around her 
brown eyes 
that can only be seen through a 
visibility tool due to a disability in her right 
eye – 
where the humidity reached 
100 percent 
this year and turned into heavy adhesion-fog
and a cloudy temperament 
and that is before putting to sleep in Jerusalem  
the cataract in the right eye at Shaare Zedek hospital on the 16th of July 

And I remembered that my friend told me last night: “When I say abroad that 
I come from Jerusalem - it sounds metaphysical 
I really wanted to be 
cosmopolitan like you”

And I answered, 
“In what way, my friend? 
I come from Jerusalem 
I am J e r u s a l e m.  

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