Open Closed Open: Poems
Amichai writes of the language of love, and tea with roasted almonds, of desire and love. Of a Jewish cemetery whose groundskeeper is an expert on flowers and seasons of the year, but no expert on buried Jews; of Russian shirts embroidered in the colors of love and death; of Jerusalem, the city where everything sails: the flags, the prayer shawls, the caftans, the monks' robes, the kaffiyehs, and young women's dresses. The poet tenderly, mischievously, breaks open the grand diction of the revered Jewish verses and supplications and suddenly discovers the light that his own experience casts upon them. Here, the bread of memory and the circuses of forgetting, nostalgia for God and a better world, dust and heat, and tamarisk trees that stand as flight attendants for the next millennium, saying, "You can still get a seat on the third millennium before liftoff." Open Closed Open-poems at once meditative and playful, anxious and full of hope, sung in a language of biblical directness and meaning, that through the microcosm of the everyday give us the gift of the world at large.
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alive Amen angel Balaam Bathsheba battle birds blessing blurriness of joy body broken called chair Chevra Kadisha childhood color cried cycle dead death desert died door empty everything eyes face father flowers forget gate hair hands heart heavy Hebrew Holy hope inside Israel Jerusalem Jewish travel Jews Kaddish kibbutz King David line 13 living Lord Louis Rappaport lovers memory mezuzah Moses Mount Mount Nebo mourning mouth never night numbers Open Closed Open Palmach past Paul Celan peace praise prayer precision of pain prophecy prophet Psalm Rachel resurrection Rosh Hashana Sabbath scrolls shalt Simchat Torah sing soft sometimes song soul stone Street summer synagogue Thou art Torah tower tree turned unto voice waiting wall wind window woman womb women words Yad Mordechai Yehuda Amichai Yehuda Halevi Yivkeh Yom Kippur