Ra'anana, Israel: Even Hoshen Press, 2007. Limited Edition. Hardcover. Bi-lingual edition: English and Hebrew. English translation by Susann and Ed Codish.
"This is Dagan’s first book of poetry, simultaneously appearing in both Hebrew and in English. The two books are accompanied by a CD featuring readings of selected poems to guitar improvisations by Amos Ever-Hadani. Opening and closing musical motifs are by David Elharrar, arranged by Ken Burgess. The Hebrew reading is by actress Tami Spivak and the English reading (in the translation of Susann and Ed Codish) is by actress Gilya Stern.
In Everyone There Are Four Sons is predicated on elements of multiplicity and variety. Every poem speaks in several voices, and the series of transitions surprise. Nilly Dagan weaves the high and the low, street slang and ancient sources, images and symbols from all over the world. All of these elements introduce one another and interchange, and associatively create the multi-vocal lyrical flow that is uniquely hers.
In the Jewish tradition, the four sons in the Passover Haggadah are viewed as archetypes of people, and parallel to the four elements which were viewed as the stuff of which all matter is comprised – water, fire, dust and air. The wise son is like pure water, the wicked like consuming fire, the simple like dust of the earth, and the son who doesn’t know how to ask like restless wind. Just as their faces differ, so do their opinions, says the Talmud, by which it seeks to tell us that a multiplicity of facets, faces, voices, and colors constitutes a blessing for a fuller and richer multi-dimensional world.
Nilly Dagan came to poetry relatively late, having spent many years in the world of business. She has been writing poetry since 2005. Her poems have been published in the literary supplement of Yediot Ahronot and in Hebrew literary magazines such as Moznayim, Iton 77, Shvo and Gag. Just as she appreciated the insight at the core of In Everyone There Are Four Sons, so she envisioned four modes of expression participating together in a four-way artistic conversation: poetry, translation, music and reading. And so, the point at which other poets might feel that they have completed their task, was turned by Nilly Dagan into a new beginning. She contacted translators, composers, musicians and actresses, to become part of a project whose shape emerged, step by step, and swept them all into a collaborative artistic creation." [from the publisher]
"What is perhaps most striking about this limited edition of the book is the metal sculpture "Quartet" by artist David Gerstein, who has created a visual representation of the four sons in the Passover haggada, which the book title refers to, "In Everyone There Are Four Sons". The sculpture acts as a kind of center divider between two language versions of the book, like butterfly wings, identical in content, yet one in Hebrew and the other in English." [publisher statement]. Fine in Fine Archival Box. Tight, bright, and unmarred. Full red leather bindings, red marbled end pages and pastedowns, laid in green cloth-covered clamshell box designed by Ido Agassi, housed in red cloth slipcase, enamaled metal sculptural element. 8vo. 64pp. Illus. Numbered limited edition of 54 copies. Item #9267