Yehuda Amichai: one of the greatest Modern Hebrew poet
There are very few who have interest in poetry wouldn’t have read Yehuda Amichai, he probably was one the best “a poet who played with words”. Amichai’s poems have all kinds of emotions, it is alive and brims with so much energy, the kind that is rare in poems these days. It is an absolute pleasure to read him. Ted Hughes wrote “Yehuda Amichai begins to look more and more like a truly major poet - in the strict sense of the term. That is, there's a depth, breadth and weighty momentum in these subtle and intricate poems of his, even in the slightest, that sounds more and more like the undersong of a people. Who else is dipping his bucket into such a full river of experience and paid-for feeling?”. He noted that Amichai's imagistic language is drawn from both the external and the spiritual history of Jewry. “It is as if the whole ancient spiritual investment has been suddenly cashed, in modern coinage, flooding his poetry with an inexhaustible currency of precise and weighty metaphors.”
This from the poem “I want to die in my own bed”
All night the army came up from Gilgal
To get to the killing field, and that's all.
In the ground, warf and woof, lay the dead.
I want to die in My own bed.
Like slits in a tank, their eyes were uncanny,
I'm always the few and they are the many.
I must answer. They can interrogate My head.
But I want to die in My own bed
This his very well known poem “wildpeace”
Not the peace of a cease-fire
not even the vision
of the wolf and the lamb,
as in the heart when the excitement is over
and you can talk only about a great weariness.
I know that I know how to kill, that makes me an adult.
And my son plays with a toy gun that knows
how to open and close its eyes and say Mama.
without the big noise of beating swords into ploughshares,
without words, without
the thud of the heavy rubber stamp: let it be
light, floating, like lazy white foam.
A little rest for the wounds - who speaks of healing?
(And the howl of the orphans is passed from one generation
to the next, as in a relay race:
the baton never falls.)
Let it come
suddenly, because the field
must have it: wildpeace.
As I read his poems I just couldn’t help write these
Words live in their own world
My great grandfather’s word would be living
in some corner of world
cocooned in stray thought unaware to even the thinker
maybe it lives on the treetop like python to strangle the victim
or gestates in the words I write
and sprang meanings unintended.
In the prayer room when multieyes of multiple headed gods
shower their benevolence on conditions
that are pact of words
of ancestral hopes and tribulations.
A realization dawns that I am just
mediator of words
that come and go
and do what they please.