Do Not Accept – Yehuda Amichai

Do not accept these rains that come too late. 

Better to linger. Make your pain 

An image of the desert. Say it’s said 

And do not look to the west. Refuse 
To surrender. Try this year too 

To live alone in the long summer, 

Eat your drying bread, refrain 

From tears. And do not learn from 
Experience. Take as an example my youth, 

My return late at night, what has been written 

In the rain of yesteryear. It makes no difference 
Now. See your events as my events. 

Everything will be as before: Abraham will again 

Be Abram. Sarah will be Sarai. 

 

Of Three Or Four In The Room – Yehuda Amichai

Out of three or four in the room 

One is always standing at the window. 

Forced to see the injustice amongst the thorns, 

The fires on the hills. 
And people who left whole 

Are brought home in the evening, like small change. 
Out of three or four in the room 

One is always standing at the window. 

Hair dark above his thoughts. 

Behind him, the words, wandering, without luggage, 

Hearts without provision, prophecies without water 

Big stones put there 

Standing, closed like letters 

With no addresses; and no one to receive them.

 

Quick And Bitter – Yehuda Amichai 

The end was quick and bitter. 

Slow and sweet was the time between us, 

slow and sweet were the nights 

when my hands did not touch one another in despair but in the love 

of your body which came 

between them. 
And when I entered into you 

it seemed then that great happiness 

could be measured with precision 

of sharp pain. Quick and bitter. 
Slow and sweet were the nights. 

Now is bitter and grinding as sand— 

‘Let’s be sensible’ and similiar curses. 
And as we stray further from love 

we multiply the words, 

words and sentences so long and orderly. 

Had we remained together 

we could have become a silence.

Her Dream – William Butler Yeats

I dreamed as in my bed I lay, 

All night’s fathomless wisdom come, 

That I had shorn my locks away 

And laid them on Love’s lettered tomb: 

But something bore them out of sight 

In a great tumult of the air, 

And after nailed upon the night 

Berenice’s burning hair.

When You Are Old – William Butler Yeats

WHEN you are old and grey and full of sleep, 

And nodding by the fire, take down this book, 

And slowly read, and dream of the soft look 

Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep; 

How many loved your moments of glad grace, 

And loved your beauty with love false or true, 

But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you, 

And loved the sorrows of your changing face; 

And bending down beside the glowing bars, 

Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled 

And paced upon the mountains overhead 

And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.