“Hadas Gilad’s book is filled with kisses”, writes her contemporary, poet Anat Levin: “Kisses that are given or received, or are tempting or regrettable. And there are also breaths and a central aspiration - to be ‘one’ with the world, that is, to be in constant connection with the other, nature, memory, and with earlier texts and cultures. The main thing is to remain in dialogue”.
Another reader, social worker and Jungian analyst Guy Perl agrees: “Hadas Gilad’s book opens with lines that describe the numinous experience of fusion in nature or love, a central tenet of her poetry. This aspect of her work invites comparison with Lalla, the 14th century Hindu mystical poet from Kashmir that Gilad has recently translated into Hebrew. The attempt to remove the illusion that reality is separate from nature [or] God… lies at the heart of Lalla’s verse too. However, this comparison actually rests on a point of difference between the two books and reveals the complexity of Gilad’s work, and the place where she surpasses their shared starting point. Gilad doesn’t seek to rise above the illusion of reality, but rather to live completely connected to it, revealing its transcendent aspects….
“There are two other ways in which Gilad differs from Lalla in her poems of love and desire, and her autobiographical verse. For Gilad, the former constitute the main way to leave the borders of self and encounter a greater wholeness […] In contrast, Lalla was [a kind of nun, who renounced ordinary life and followed a guru] and when she writes about sex, it exists solely on the symbolical level… In addition, Lalla has left home completely behind and does not write about her family at all, [whereas…] Gilad does. A number of her poems deal with her relationship to her father, who seems to represent a ‘reality principle’ - the concrete aspects of the world, with which the poet has a complicated relationship”.
Hadas Gilad was born in Tel Aviv. With a BA in literature and creative writing from Tel Aviv University, she has been a fellow in the Alma Center for Jewish Culture, as well as studying dance (at the Jaffa Group) and healing (at the Dutch-based International School of Spiritual Psychology). An editor and radio broadcaster, she leads creative writing workshops. On her web site, Gilad says, “Parallel to [my connection to words], I have a dominant attraction to all that is wordless; movement, yoga and meditation play prominent roles in my life”.
Each and Every Light/Kol or beh-etzem Pardes, Haifa, 2013
Naked Song/Shir eer-oom: poetry by Lalla translated from the English, Hadkeren, Tel Aviv, 2013
Links (in Hebrew)
14th century poet Lalla in Hadas Gilad’s Hebrew translation
Yonatan Berg reviews the poet’s translations of Lalla
The poet reads BLUE AND RED