Rachel Hadas

Rachel Hadas

Rachel Hadas is a poet, professor, essayist and translator. She is the author of numerous books of poetry, essays, and translations. Most recent publications include [poetry] The River of Forgetfulness (Wordtech Communications, 2006); Laws (2004); Indelible (2001); Halfway Down the Hall: New & Selected Poems (1998) — a finalist for the 1999 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; The Empty Bed (1995); The Double Legacy (1995); Mirrors of Astonishment (1992); and Living in Time (1990).

Rachel has studied various disciplines at Radcliffe, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins, and Princeton University. She began at Radcliffe College where she studied classics, graduating magna cum laude with a B.A. 1969. Rachel received her M.A. (poetry) from Johns Hopkins University and Ph.D. in comparative literature from Princeton University. She spent four years in Greece between college and graduate school, and the traces and influences of the classics are evident in much of her published work.

Since 1981 she has taught in the English Department of the Newark, New Jersey campus of Rutgers University, and has taught occasional courses in literature and writing at both Columbia and Princeton. She is currently a Board of Governors Professor of English. Rachel has also served as faculty of the Sewanee Writers’ Conference.

About her work, the poet Grace Schulman has written, “The poems are urgent, contemplative, and finely wrought. In them, antiquity illuminates the present as Rachel Hadas finds in ordinary human acts ‘what never was and what is eternal.'”

Among her honors are a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Ingram Merrill Foundation grant, and an award in literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.



Rachel Hadas’ new verse translations of Euripides’s two Iphigenia plays, Iphigenia in Aulis and Iphigenia among the Taurians will be out from Northwestern University Press June 2018.  

Balconies III

Limestone cave and tallow lamp
then in the late afternoon
the wedding and the festival
the past concealed between hotels
octopus hanging on a line
the history of the human hand
barely brushing a mountaintop
paging the album of the past
so tough and so precarious
in the backyard of the hotel
slinking or strolling through the streets
I will die Achilles said
sleepy sparkle morning sun
on a single limestone column
what is lost and what remains
thunder over Aigina
shopping before Shevuot
tomes about prehistory
in the postmodernist’s apartment
so precarious and so tough
swallows diving from the roof
is that a gypsy caravan
blue and white awning striped with rain
here at the Hotel Rachel
lights on the black harbor water
unexpected orange moon
a rainbow finger reaches down
between the Hotel Sandy Beach
and the Hotel Liberty
lavender table lavender chairs
set out on a narrow sandy beach
at any hour of the day
inches from the pale green sea
balcony in Jerusalem
in the German Colony
voice shading before sleep

Slow Green

For other contributions by Rachel Hadas, please follow the link below:

Poetry in this post: © Rachel Hadas
Published with the permission of Rachel Hadas