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Friday, May 17, 2013


by Atar Hadari

Margaret Thatcher has died. There will be parties
Up and down the seams of coal
At the Trades Club, the Workers’ Associations, tubs
Of ale will be up-ended, dominoes
Will click across the boards, foaming mugs fail
To capture what the people will try to carol
That she didn’t quite stamp the soul
Out of every seam of the remaining factory trail,
Out of every cup in a palm held out for some help.
But will they be rejoicing
Equally in the halls
Where those who ruled this country fully
Before Margaret now rule it all
And for a while they were haunted
By this girl who knew every call
Of the metallurgist’s numbered table,
She knew what was silver, what was gold
And the basest element – the fire
That burns in people’s soul
That she knew how to ignite with a lyre
And it is burning again, now that she no longer cares
Burning and turning, turning like a ribbon in the wind,
A flag, like something from the Wat Tyler rebellion
Before he was cut down by the King’s men.

Atar Hadari was born in Israel, raised in England, and studied poetry in the US. His Songs from Bialik: Selected Poems of H. N. Bialik (Syracuse University Press) was a finalist for the American Literary Translators’ Association Award, his collection Rembrandt’s Bible will be published by Indigo Dreams on July 8.