After you left me
I had a bloodhound sniff at
my chest and my belly.
Let it fill its nostrils
and set out to find you.
I hope it will find you
and rip your lover’s balls to shreds
and bite off his cock – or at least
bring me one of your stockings
between its teeth.
Referring to him as "the great Israeli poet,"Jonathan Wilson of The New York Times wrote that he "is one of very few contemporary poets to have reached a broad cross-section without compromising his art." He was loved by his readers worldwide (his poems have been translated into more than 30 languages) It is not hard to see why. Amichai’s poems are easy on the surface and yet profound:humorous, ironic and yet full of passion, allusive but accessible, charged with metaphor and yet remarkably concrete. Most of all, they are, like the speaking persona in his Letter of Recommendation, full of love: Oh, touch me, touch me, you good woman!This is not a scar you feel under my shirt. It is a letter of recommendation, folded,from my father: ‘He is still a good boy and full of love.’
A man doesn’t have time in his life to have time for everything. He doesn’t have seasons enough to have a season for every purpose. Ecclesiastes was wrong about that. A man needs to love and to hate at the same moment, to laugh and cry with the same eyes, with the same hands to throw stones and to gather them, to make love in war and war in love. And to hate and forgive and remember and forget, to arrange and confuse, to eat and to digest what history takes years and years to do. A man doesn’t have time. When he loses he seeks, when he finds he forgets, when he forgets he loves,when he loves he begins to forget. And his soul is seasoned, his soul is very professional. Only his body remains forever an amateur. It tries and it misses, gets muddled, doesn’t learn a thing, drunk and blind in its pleasures and its pains. He will die as figs die in autumn, shriveled and full of himself and sweet, the leaves growing dry on the ground, the bare branches pointing to the place where there’s time for everything. Yehuda Amichai