Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Yehuda Amichai

I discovered Yehuda Amichai through a little Google searching. His poetry is fabulous. Amichai was a German-born Israeli, considered by many to be the greatest Israeli poet. I've only read a dozen or so of his works online and am hoping to find a book of his poetry soon. Also, check out Amichai's poems, "Tourist," "Forgetting Someone," among others. Note the imagery and word choice of this poem. The second stanza is my favorite.

A Man In His Life
Yehuda Amichai
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.

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