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Best Famous Yehuda Amichai Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Yehuda Amichai poems. This is a select list of the best famous Yehuda Amichai poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Yehuda Amichai poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Yehuda Amichai poems.

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Written by Yehuda Amichai | |

My Child Wafts Peace

 My child wafts peace.
When I lean over him, It is not just the smell of soap.
All the people were children wafting peace.
(And in the whole land, not even one Millstone remained that still turned).
Oh, the land torn like clothes That can't be mended.
Hard, lonely fathers even in the cave of the Makhpela* Childless silence.
My child wafts peace.
His mother's womb promised him What God cannot Promise us.
* The traditional burial place in Hebron of Abraham and the other Patriarchs and Matriarchs of Israel.

Written by Yehuda Amichai | |

I Have Become Very Hairy

 I have become very hairy all over my body.
I'm afraid they'll start hunting me because of my fur.
My multicolored shirt has no meaning of love -- it looks like an air photo of a railway station.
At night my body is open and awake under the blanket, like eyes under the blindfold of someone to be shot.
Restless I shall wander about; hungry for life I'll die.
Yet I wanted to be calm, like a mound with all its cities destroyed, and tranquil, like a full cemetery.

Written by Yehuda Amichai | |

And We Shall Not Get Excited

 And we shall not get excited.
Because a translator May not get excited.
Calmly, we shall pass on Words from man to son, from one tongue To others' lips, un- Knowingly, like a father who passes on The features of his dead father's face To his son, and he himself is like neither of them.
Merely a mediator.
We shall remember the things we held in our hands That slipped out.
What I have in my possesion and what I do not have in my possession.
We must not get excited.
Calls and their callers drowned.
Or, my beloved Gave me a few words before she left, To bring up for her.
And no more shall we tell what we were told To other tellers.
Silence as admission.
We must not Get excited.

More great poems below...

Written by Yehuda Amichai | |

A Man In His Life

 A man doesn't have time in his life
to have time for everything.
He doesn't have seasons enough to have a season for every purpose.
Ecclesiastes Was wrong about that.
A man needs to love and to hate at the same moment, to laugh and cry with the same eyes, with the same hands to throw stones and to gather them, to make love in war and war in love.
And to hate and forgive and remember and forget, to arrange and confuse, to eat and to digest what history takes years and years to do.
A man doesn't have time.
When he loses he seeks, when he finds he forgets, when he forgets he loves, when he loves he begins to forget.
And his soul is seasoned, his soul is very professional.
Only his body remains forever an amateur.
It tries and it misses, gets muddled, doesn't learn a thing, drunk and blind in its pleasures and its pains.
He will die as figs die in autumn, Shriveled and full of himself and sweet, the leaves growing dry on the ground, the bare branches pointing to the place where there's time for everything.

Written by Yehuda Amichai | |

You Mustnt Show Weakness

 You mustn't show weakness
and you've got to have a tan.
But sometimes I feel like the thin veils of Jewish women who faint at weddings and on Yom Kippur.
You mustn't show weakness and you've got to make a list of all the things you can load in a baby carriage without a baby.
This is the way things stand now: if I pull out the stopper after pampering myself in the bath, I'm afraid that all of Jerusalem, and with it the whole world, will drain out into the huge darkness.
In the daytime I lay traps for my memories and at night I work in the Balaam Mills, turning curse into blessing and blessing into curse.
And don't ever show weakness.
Sometimes I come crashing down inside myself without anyone noticing.
I'm like an ambulance on two legs, hauling the patient inside me to Last Aid with the wailing of cry of a siren, and people think it's ordinary speech.

Written by Yehuda Amichai | |

Of Three Or Four In The Room

 Out of three or four in the room
One is always standing at the window.
Forced to see the injustice amongst the thorns, The fires on the hills.
And people who left whole Are brought home in the evening, like small change.
Out of three or four in the room One is always standing at the window.
Hair dark above his thoughts.
Behind him, the words, wandering, without luggage, Hearts without provision, prophecies without water Big stones put there Standing, closed like letters With no addresses; and no one to receive them.

Written by Yehuda Amichai | |

Do Not Accept

 Do not accept these rains that come too late.
Better to linger.
Make your pain An image of the desert.
Say it's said And do not look to the west.
Refuse To surrender.
Try this year too To live alone in the long summer, Eat your drying bread, refrain From tears.
And do not learn from Experience.
Take as an example my youth, My return late at night, what has been written In the rain of yesteryear.
It makes no difference Now.
See your events as my events.
Everything will be as before: Abraham will again Be Abram.
Sarah will be Sarai.
Benjamin & Barbara Harshav

Written by Yehuda Amichai | |

Temporary Poem Of My Time

 Hebrew writing and Arabic writing go from east to west,
Latin writing, from west to east.
Languages are like cats: You must not stroke their hair the wrong way.
The clouds come from the sea, the hot wind from the desert, The trees bend in the wind, And stones fly from all four winds, Into all four winds.
They throw stones, Throw this land, one at the other, But the land always falls back to the land.
They throw the land, want to get rid of it.
Its stones, its soil, but you can't get rid of it.
They throw stones, throw stones at me In 1936, 1938, 1948, 1988, Semites throw at Semites and anti-Semites at anti-Semites, Evil men throw and just men throw, Sinners throw and tempters throw, Geologists throw and theologists throw, Archaelogists throw and archhooligans throw, Kidneys throw stones and gall bladders throw, Head stones and forehead stones and the heart of a stone, Stones shaped like a screaming mouth And stones fitting your eyes Like a pair of glasses, The past throws stones at the future, And all of them fall on the present.
Weeping stones and laughing gravel stones, Even God in the Bible threw stones, Even the Urim and Tumim were thrown And got stuck in the beastplate of justice, And Herod threw stones and what came out was a Temple.
Oh, the poem of stone sadness Oh, the poem thrown on the stones Oh, the poem of thrown stones.
Is there in this land A stone that was never thrown And never built and never overturned And never uncovered and never discovered And never screamed from a wall and never discarded by the builders And never closed on top of a grave and never lay under lovers And never turned into a cornerstone? Please do not throw any more stones, You are moving the land, The holy, whole, open land, You are moving it to the sea And the sea doesn't want it The sea says, not in me.
Please throw little stones, Throw snail fossils, throw gravel, Justice or injustice from the quarries of Migdal Tsedek, Throw soft stones, throw sweet clods, Throw limestone, throw clay, Throw sand of the seashore, Throw dust of the desert, throw rust, Throw soil, throw wind, Throw air, throw nothing Until your hands are weary And the war is weary And even peace will be weary and will be.

Written by Yehuda Amichai | |

Try To Remember Some Details

 Try to remember some details.
Remember the clothing of the one you love so that on the day of loss you'll be able to say: last seen wearing such-and-such, brown jacket, white hat.
Try to remember some details.
For they have no face and their soul is hidden and their crying is the same as their laughter, and their silence and their shouting rise to one height and their body temperature is between 98 and 104 degrees and they have no life outside this narrow space and they have no graven image, no likeness, no memory and they have paper cups on the day of their rejoicing and paper cups that are used once only.
Try to remember some details.
For the world is filled with people who were torn from their sleep with no one to mend the tear, and unlike wild beasts they live each in his lonely hiding place and they die together on battlefields and in hospitals.
And the earth will swallow all of them, good and evil together, like the followers of Korah, all of them in thir rebellion against death, their mouths open till the last moment, praising and cursing in a single howl.
Try, try to remember some details.

Written by Yehuda Amichai | |

Half The People In The World

 Half the people in the world love the other half, 
 half the people hate the other half.
Must I because of this half and that half go wandering and changing ceaselessly like rain in its cycle, must I sleep among rocks, and grow rugged like the trunks of olive trees, and hear the moon barking at me, and camouflage my love with worries, and sprout like frightened grass between the railroad tracks, and live underground like a mole, and remain with roots and not with branches, and not feel my cheek against the cheek of angels, and love in the first cave, and marry my wife beneath a canopy of beams that support the earth, and act out my death, always till the last breath and the last words and without ever understandig, and put flagpoles on top of my house and a bob shelter underneath.
And go out on rads made only for returning and go through all the apalling stations—cat,stick,fire,water,butcher, between the kid and the angel of death? Half the people love, half the people hate.
And where is my place between such well-matched halves, and through what crack will I see the white housing projects of my dreams and the bare foot runners on the sands or, at least, the waving of a girl's kerchief, beside the mound?

Written by Yehuda Amichai | |

A Jewish Cemetery In Germany

 On a little hill amid fertile fields lies a small cemetery,
a Jewish cemetery behind a rusty gate, hidden by shrubs,
abandoned and forgotten.
Neither the sound of prayer nor the voice of lamentation is heard there for the dead praise not the Lord.
Only the voices of our children ring out, seeking graves and cheering each time they find one--like mushrooms in the forest, like wild strawberries.
Here's another grave! There's the name of my mother's mothers, and a name from the last century.
And here's a name, and there! And as I was about to brush the moss from the name-- Look! an open hand engraved on the tombstone, the grave of a kohen, his fingers splayed in a spasm of holiness and blessing, and here's a grave concealed by a thicket of berries that has to be brushed aside like a shock of hair from the face of a beautiful beloved woman.

Written by Yehuda Amichai | |

Memorial Day For The War Dead

 Memorial day for the war dead.
Add now the grief of all your losses to their grief, even of a woman that has left you.
Mix sorrow with sorrow, like time-saving history, which stacks holiday and sacrifice and mourning on one day for easy, convenient memory.
Oh, sweet world soaked, like bread, in sweet milk for the terrible toothless God.
"Behind all this some great happiness is hiding.
" No use to weep inside and to scream outside.
Behind all this perhaps some great happiness is hiding.
Memorial day.
Bitter salt is dressed up as a little girl with flowers.
The streets are cordoned off with ropes, for the marching together of the living and the dead.
Children with a grief not their own march slowly, like stepping over broken glass.
The flautist's mouth will stay like that for many days.
A dead soldier swims above little heads with the swimming movements of the dead, with the ancient error the dead have about the place of the living water.
A flag loses contact with reality and flies off.
A shopwindow is decorated with dresses of beautiful women, in blue and white.
And everything in three languages: Hebrew, Arabic, and Death.
A great and royal animal is dying all through the night under the jasmine tree with a constant stare at the world.
A man whose son died in the war walks in the street like a woman with a dead embryo in her womb.
"Behind all this some great happiness is hiding.

Written by Yehuda Amichai | |

If I Forget Thee Jerusalem

 If I forget thee, Jerusalem,
Then let my right be forgotten.
Let my right be forgotten, and my left remember.
Let my left remember, and your right close And your mouth open near the gate.
I shall remember Jerusalem And forget the forest -- my love will remember, Will open her hair, will close my window, will forget my right, Will forget my left.
If the west wind does not come I'll never forgive the walls, Or the sea, or myself.
Should my right forget My left shall forgive, I shall forget all water, I shall forget my mother.
If I forget thee, Jerusalem, Let my blood be forgotten.
I shall touch your forehead, Forget my own, My voice change For the second and last time To the most terrible of voices -- Or silence.

Written by Yehuda Amichai | |


 On a roof in the Old City
Laundry hanging in the late afternoon sunlight:
The white sheet of a woman who is my enemy,
The towel of a man who is my enemy,
To wipe off the sweat of his brow.
In the sky of the Old City A kite.
At the other end of the string, A child I can't see Because of the wall.
We have put up many flags, They have put up many flags.
To make us think that they're happy.
To make them think that we're happy.

Written by Yehuda Amichai | |

God Full Of Mercy

 God-Full-of-Mercy, the prayer for the dead.
If God was not full of mercy, Mercy would have been in the world, Not just in Him.
I, who plucked flowers in the hills And looked down into all the valleys, I, who brought corpses down from the hills, Can tell you that the world is empty of mercy.
I, who was King of Salt at the seashore, Who stood without a decision at my window, Who counted the steps of angels, Whose heart lifted weights of anguish In the horrible contests.
I, who use only a small part Of the words in the dictionary.
I, who must decipher riddles I don't want to decipher, Know that if not for the God-full-of-mercy There would be mercy in the world, Not just in Him.