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Shirehov hits Jerusalemby michael • August 15 2007
City planning, Municipal news, Things to do
Jerusalem is a city of all manner of sound reverberating off the weathered golden stone: the sound of the Hebrew, Arabic and English which fill its streets; the sound of the ceaseless construction in all the city's quarters; the sound of street buskers competing with would-be prophets and holy men; the sound of merchants shouting out the current state of warm pita prices. It is the noise of a city both incomparably ancient and intensely modern. And if the Shirehov Festival just getting underway in the city is a success, to that hubbub will be added the sounds of poetry being read in the street.
Shirehov (Street-Poetry), a yearly event, calls upon a committee of poets and intellectuals to select the best in Hebrew and Arabic Israeli poetry centered around a variety of carefully selected themes, and then places the winning poems on banners lining the more well-traveled of Jerusalem's boulevards. The poems, unfortunately for some visitors, are presented only in Hebrew, but even the non-Hebrew speaker can appreciate the banners' simple aesthetic appeal, and the very idea of a city lining its streets with poetry.
Shirehov banners will appear this year along Ha-Nevi'im, Salah ad-Din, Suleiman, Emek Refaim, Beit Lechem, Ein Kerem, Derekh Ha-Achayot, Agrippas, Ramban, Arlozorov, Azza, Ussishkin, and Ibn Ezra streets. Enjoy a little culture during your walk, commute or shopping trip, and remember, even Paris' streets don't have poetry fluttering above them.
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