Monday, June 7, 2010

Advice for Good Love - Yehuda Amichai

 This is the seventh poem by Amichai that I have selected.   If you've read the others, you should be getting an idea about his "voice" and how strong it is.  As I have noted before, to read his poems is to stand in the shadowless landscape of a noon-day sun, when every rock is both sharply outlined yet also shimmering from the rising heat.  His poems are those rocks.
Advice for Good Love
                                     transl. from Hebrew by Amichai and Ted Hughes (!)

Advice for good love: Don’t love
those from far away.  Take yourself one
from nearby.
The way a sensible house will take
local stones for its building,
stones which have suffered in the same cold
and were scorched by the same sun.
Take the one with the golden wreath
around her dark eye’s pupil, she
who has a certain knowledge
about your death.  Love also inside
a ruin, like taking honey out of 
the lion’s carcass that Samson killed.

And advice for bad love: With
the love left over
from the previous one
make a new woman for yourself,
then with what is left of that woman
make again a new love,
and go on like that
until nothing remains.

                                                                     Yehuda Amichai - Israeli

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