On Wednesday, June 10, the editor-in-chief of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz sent most of his reporters home and sent 31 authors and poets out to cover the day’s news.
Sports coverage was apparently deemed too far outside the realm of expertise of your average poet so the sportswriters didn’t get the day off. But everyone else, from the weathermen to the business reporters and even the headline writers did.
The wonderful results include this business report by author Avri Herling:
“Everything’s okay. Everything’s like usual. Yesterday trading ended. Everything’s okay. The economists went to their homes, the laundry is drying on the lines, dinners are waiting in place… Dow Jones traded steadily and closed with 8,761 points, Nasdaq added 0.9% to a level of 1,860 points…. The guy from the shakshuka [an Israeli egg-and-tomato dish] shop raised his prices again….”
I just love that. “Everything’s okay.” Such an important message! Everything’s okay! Why didn’t the New York Times or the Washington Post tell me that?
Eshkol Nevo penned a television review as follows: “I didn’t watch TV yesterday.”
Poet Roni Somek delivered the weather report in sonnet form: “Summer is the pencil/that is least sharp/in the season’s pencil case.”
The tone turned more serious in a cover story about a children’s drug rehabilitation center in Jerusalem that was written by David Grossman, one of Israel’s most famous novelists.
“I lay in bed and thought wondrously how, amid the alienation and indifference of the harsh Israeli reality, such islands — stubborn little bubbles of care, tenderness and humanity — still exist.”
Novelist Yoram Kaniuk went into the field to cover couples in a hospital cancer ward. Kaniuk is a cancer patient himself.
“A woman walking with a cane brings her partner a cup of coffee with a trembling hand. The looks they exchange are sexier than any performance by Madonna and cost a good deal less,” Kaniuk wrote. “I think about what would happen if I were to get better…how I would live without the human delicacy to which I am witness?”
Thanks to Kottke.org for the heads-up and The Jewish Daily Forward for details!