I think these days of the wind in your hair,
and of my years in the world which preceded your coming,
and of the eternity to which I proceed before you;
and I think of the bullets that did not kill me,
but killed my friends—
they who were better than me because
they did not go on living;
and I think of you standing in summer
naked before the stove,
or bending, the better to read it, over a book
in the last light of day.
Yes, we had more than life.
We must now balance everything
with heavy dreams, and set
upon what was once today.
translated by Robert Friend
In questi giorni penso al vento fra i tuoi capelli,
agli anni che fui nel mondo prima di te
e all’eternità che prima di te andrò a incontrare,
ai proiettili che non mi uccisero in battaglia
ma uccisero i miei amici,
di me migliori perché
non vissero oltre come me,
penso a te nuda davanti al fornello d’estate,
sul libro curva per leggere meglio
nella luce morente del giorno.
Vedi, abbiam vissuto più di una vita,
ora dobbiamo pesare ogni cosa
sulla bilancia dei sogni e sguinzagliare
ricordi che divorino ciò che fu il presente.
Yehuda Amichai (3 May 1924 – 22 September 2000) was an Israeli poet. Amichai is considered by many, both in Israel and internationally, as Israel’s greatest modern poet. He was also one of the first to write in colloquial Hebrew.
Yehuda Amichai [was] for generations the most prominent poet in Israel, and one of the leading figures in world poetry since the mid-1960s.
(The Times, London, Oct. 2000)
He was awarded the 1957 Shlonsky Prize, the 1969 Brenner Prize, 1976 Bialik Prize, and 1982 Israel Prize. He also won international poetry prizes: 1994 – Malraux Prize: International Book Fair (France), 1995 – Macedonia`s Golden Wreath Award: International Poetry Festival, and more.