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By Yehuda Amichai

Translations from the Hebrew of the good Israeli poet, Yehuda Amichai, with an advent via Ted Hughes.

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55 On My Return I will not be greeted on my return by children's voices, or by the barking of a loyal dog, or by blue smoke rising as it happens in legends. " I have crossed the border of being an orphan. It's a long time since they called me an ex-serviceman. I'm not protected anymore. But I have invented the dry weeping . And who has invented this has invented the beginning of the world's end, the crack and the tumbling down and the end. s6 My Father's Memorial Day On my father's memorial day I went out to see his matesAll those buried with him in one row, His life's graduation class.

And what's ahead of me is big and calm, like the still, empty space in a cemetery. Quiet joy I am standing at a place where once I loved. The rain is falling. The rain is my home . I think in words of longing A landscape as far as I can hold. I remember you waving your hand, Like wiping white mist from a windowpane. And your face, as if enlarged From an old , much-blurred photograph. Once I did great injustice To myself and to others. But the world is made beautifully and built For a good rest, like a bench in a park.

She wore the coat of a soldier, discharged Or dead-by victory or defeatIn some worn-out war. "On a bonfire of burned letters It is impossible to cook even one cup of coffee. " After that to continue walking To some beautiful, hidden place At which a wise and experienced field commander Would have put his mortars. "In summer, after you, this hill Gets covered by a soft thought. " 43 A Bride Without Dowry A bride without dowry with a deep navel In her tanned belly. A little hole For food and drink, for birds.

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