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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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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

by Yehuda Amichai | |

An Arab Shepherd Is Searching For His Goat On Mount Zion

 An Arab shepherd is searching for his goat on Mount Zion
And on the opposite hill I am searching for my little boy.
An Arab shepherd and a Jewish father Both in their temporary failure.
Our two voices met above The Sultan's Pool in the valley between us.
Neither of us wants the boy or the goat To get caught in the wheels Of the "Had Gadya" machine.
Afterward we found them among the bushes, And our voices came back inside us Laughing and crying.
Searching for a goat or for a child has always been The beginning of a new religion in these mountains.

by Yehuda Amichai | |

Ein Yahav

 A night drive to Ein Yahav in the Arava Desert,
a drive in the rain.
Yes, in the rain.
There I met people who grow date palms, there I saw tamarisk trees and risk trees, there I saw hope barbed as barbed wire.
And I said to myself: That's true, hope needs to be like barbed wire to keep out despair, hope must be a mine field.

by Yehuda Amichai | |

Near The Wall Of A House

 Near the wall of a house painted
to look like stone,
I saw visions of God.
A sleepless night that gives others a headache gave me flowers opening beautifully inside my brain.
And he who was lost like a dog will be found like a human being and brought back home again.
Love is not the last room: there are others after it, the whole length of the corridor that has no end.

by Yehuda Amichai | |

Yad Mordechai

 Yad Mordechai.
Those who fell here still look out the windows like sick children who are not allowed outside to play.
And on the hillside, the battle is reenacted for the benefit of hikers and tourists.
Soldiers of thin sheet iron rise and fall and rise again.
Sheet iron dead and a sheet iron life and the voices all—sheet iron.
And the resurrection of the dead, sheet iron that clangs and clangs.
And I said to myself: Everyone is attached to his own lament as to a parachute.
Slowly he descends and slowly hovers until he touches the hard place.

by Yehuda Amichai | |

Once A Great Love

 Once a great love cut my life in two.
The first part goes on twisting at some other place like a snake cut in two.
The passing years have calmed me and brought healing to my heart and rest to my eyes.
And I'm like someone standing in the Judean desert, looking at a sign: "Sea Level" He cannot see the sea, but he knows.
Thus I remember your face everywhere at your "face Level.

by Yehuda Amichai | |

I Dont Know If History Repeats Itself

 I don't Know if history repeats itself
But I do know that you don't.
I remember that city was didvided Not only between Jews and Arabs, But Between me and you, When we were there together.
We made ourselves a womb of dangers We built ourselves a house of deadening wars Like men of far north Who build themselves a safe warm house of deadening ice.
The city has been reunited But we haven't been there together.
By now I know That History doesn't repeat itself, As I always knew that you wouldn't.

by Yehuda Amichai | |

My Father

 The memory of my father is wrapped up in
white paper, like sandwiches taken for a day at work.
Just as a magician takes towers and rabbits out of his hat, he drew love from his small body, and the rivers of his hands overflowed with good deeds.

by Yehuda Amichai | |

God Has Pity On Kindergarten Children

 God has pity on kindergarten children,
He pities school children -- less.
But adults he pities not at all.
He abandons them, And sometimes they have to crawl on all fours In the scorching sand To reach the dressing station, Streaming with blood.
But perhaps He will have pity on those who love truly And take care of them And shade them Like a tree over the sleeper on the public bench.
Perhaps even we will spend on them Our last pennies of kindness Inherited from mother, So that their own happiness will protect us Now and on other days.

by Yehuda Amichai | |


 Before the gate has been closed,
before the last quetion is posed,
before I am transposed.
Before the weeds fill the gardens, before there are no pardons, before the concrete hardens.
Before all the flute-holes are covered, beore things are locked in then cupboard, before the rules are discovered.
Before the conclusion is planned, before God closes his hand, before we have nowhere to stand.

by Yehuda Amichai | |

Forgetting Someone

 Forgetting someone is like forgetting to turn off the light 
 in the backyard so it stays lit all the next day 

But then it is the light that makes you remember.