Through the Lattice

Today’s Daily Inspiration comes to us from Noa Haran who holds a Master’s degree in composition from the Schulich School of Music of McGill University. We are fortunate to be able to hear the musical piece, Through the Lattice, two songs for mezzo-soprano and piano that she composed last year. The Hebrew lyrics, written by the Israeli poet Hadas Gilad, consist of two dramatic poems ‘spoken’ from the point of view of two female biblical characters, each related to a famous masculine figure – the wife of Potiphar and the mother of Sisera. The piece was commissioned by the Juilliard School for the 2018-2019 Vocal Arts Honors Recital and was performed by the Israeli singer Shakèd Bar and the pianist Bronwyn Schuman.
The recordings of the songs are being made available publicly the first time today, so you will be among the first to hear them!
The English translation is by Noa Haran and Shakèd Bar.
I. Witness
“Now Joseph was well-built and handsome,
and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said,
‘Come to bed with me!’”
(Genesis 39:6-7)
I am the wife of Potiphar
Women like me are numerous, as grains of sand are
Wives of men
Carriers of a lust octopus.
You see, you can push it away, keep it
Indoors. In your heart.
But this spark was thrown right into my house, A burning ruddy
And there was nothing I could do about it.
I was possessed by a spell, his name Joseph –
Whispered hidden in the corridors
Each day – Joseph –
When I will take the skin-dress off him
Parallel stripes
How could they meet –
In my nocturnal dreams
Flames as stalks of grain
Have sprouted at once
And one morning
I didn’t care
Stripes, hesitations,
It is impossible, Potiphar,
And Joseph then walked by
Very near to me
And by themselves
Both my hands –
Did I seduce him
or was it he who seduced me?
This I will say: he called me
By my first name.
II. A Sob
“Through the window peered Sisera’s mother;
behind the lattice she cried out,
‘Why is his chariot so long in coming?
Why is the clatter of his chariots delayed?’״
(Judges 5:28)
You know how one can, out of windows,
How one can pour the soul out
And mine is already low and leaking
And sticking to the ground
And if you shall not lift it
With the sound of his steps
My soul will fall through
If he perishes I perish
Dripping mountains, dripping mountains
Hear oh God
I will burn my voice as an offering.
Listen to the whisper of your maid-servant’s mother,
Listen to the growl of a beast, Eve, hear
Come on now, hear it
I am seized by a consuming love and can’t move
Empty light flies through the hatch
No, he has not returned yet, he didn’t
No he
How often I have warned him:
Gold will be the end of us
See Absalom, caught by his hair
See Samson, among the wrecks of his muscles
How often I have warned him
Of chasing milk
Gold will be the end of us
Look at me, look at me
My son, my son