Robert Friend

(1913 - 1998 / United States)

Robert Friend
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Robert Friend died on January 1998 in Jerusalem, Israel, of cancer. He was born in 1913 in Brooklyn, New York, to Russian immigrant parents. After studying at Brooklyn College, Harvard and Cambridge, he taught English literature and writing in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Panama, France, England, and Germany.

Robert Friend settled in Israel in 1950, where he lived the rest of his life. He taught English and American Literature at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem for over thirty years, at the same time becoming well-known as a poet (writing in English) and as a translator of Hebrew poetry. His poems and translations have appeared in many periodicals, including The New York Times, ... more »

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Best Poem of Robert Friend


I know who's scratching at the door.
Clock, there's no use yawning.
More than boards are loose in the floor—
I wasn't born this morning.

Beneath your gurgle, Water Tap,
I hear the water slither.
I know you well, Barometer,
and all your inner weather.

Soap, you're not all lather,
and Cane, you're more than stick.
I know who hangs on you, Clothes Hanger.
I know you, wicked Wick.

I hear your silence, Telephone.
I know your meaning, Saw.
O wily, absent-minded Fly,
I've heard your voice before.

I have turned about thrice, ...

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