Tahel Frosh has achieved local media notoriety by writing poems about all too common socio-economic ills. With a law degree from Hebrew University and one in clinical psychology from Tel Aviv University, she is currently a doctoral student in Hebrew literature at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, where she teaches, and a columnist for Israel’s leading Haaretz newspaper. She appeared on the cover of World Literature Today in 2015.
In OH, MY BANK she rages directly at this financial institution:
Oh my bank screw me you want to screw me good and not some tycoon you don’t want any tycoon no, yeah yeah yeah, oh my bank you want to screw me good and not some bad tycoon, with tycoons you sit down to lunch at a fancy restaurant and eat shrimp in a cheerful sauce but with me there are fireworks and desires a lot of Thanatos and it’s well known this is how life goes
screw me into five years of installments on signed documents and then I’ll go out into the sunshine to the street after a rape that is not recognized by the authorities oh! No policewoman will save me and no women’s organization for peace and no animal aid society
In fact, the word “screw” could easily have been translated differently.
In an interview, the poet says:
“Writing is my life work, work from which one can’t earn enough to live on, and so I have to make money to support writing financially, the way a scaffold [holds up] a building. In general we live in very interesting times; the concept of work is complex and work itself is breaking down. We used to think that work and a living overlapped, but today, more and more professions don’t meet this criterion. You can see this clearly in the arts, in education, therapy, and even in journalism”.
Frosh, whose grandparents emigrated from Poland, the Ukraine and Germany to Mandatory Palestine, is the mother of a son. About her life in Tel Aviv, see excerpts from her lyrical and yet quite down to earth newspaper column: Where Will We Go From Here.
Betsa/Avarice (Poetry) Mossad Bialik, Jerusalem, 2014
Avodat Gilui/On work: an anthology (co-editor with Mati Shmueloff), Guerilla Culture, Tel Aviv, 2012
A FILM REVIEW
The poet on a documentary about supermarket cashiers
The word “frekha/bimbo”
Rising rents in Tel Aviv
Guerilla Culture's anthology on work online
VIDEO: The poet interviewed on TV about her poem “OH, MY BANK”
With Amichai Hasson at Beit Avi Chai
In Time Out
With Yoni Livneh
Sponsored by POETRY PLACE