the greatest modern Israeli poet? Yes, says the New York Times.

Six Poems for Tamar

Yehuda Amichai, translated from Hebrew by Stephen Mitchell

1
The rain is speaking quietly,
you can sleep now.

Near my bed, the rustle of newspaper wings.
There are no other angels.

I’ll wake up early and bribe the coming day
to be kind to us.

2
You had a laughter of grapes:
many round green laughs.

Your body is full of lizards.
All of them love the sun.

Flowers grew in the field, grass grew on my cheeks,
everything was possible.

3
You’re always lying on
my eyes.

Every day of our life together
Ecclesiastes cancels a line of his book.

We are the saving evidence in the terrible trial.
We’ll acquit them all!

4
Like the taste of blood in the mouth,
spring was upon us — suddenly.

The world is awake tonight.
It is lying on its back, with its eyes open.

The crescent moon fits the line of your cheek,
your breast fits the line of my cheek.

5
Your heart plays blood-catch
inside your veins.

Your eyes are still warm, like beds
time has slept in.

Your thighs are two sweet yesterdays.
I’m coming to you.

All hundred and fifty psalms
roar halleluyah.

6
My eyes want to flow into each other
like two neighboring lakes.

To tell each other
everything they’ve seen.

My blood has many relatives.
They never visit.

But when they die,
my blood will inherit.

via this forum post.

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1 Comment

Filed under literature

One response to “the greatest modern Israeli poet? Yes, says the New York Times.

  1. Valjean

    it’s really good.

    I like the OT allusions.

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