Wildpeace

By Yehuda Amichai 1924–2000 Yehuda Amichai
Not the peace of a cease-fire,
not even the vision of the wolf and the lamb,
but rather
as in the heart when the excitement is over
and you can talk only about a great weariness.
I know that I know how to kill,
that makes me an adult.
And my son plays with a toy gun that knows
how to open and close its eyes and say Mama.
A peace
without the big noise of beating swords into ploughshares,
without words, without
the thud of the heavy rubber stamp: let it be
light, floating, like lazy white foam.
A little rest for the wounds—
who speaks of healing?
(And the howl of the orphans is passed from one generation
to the next, as in a relay race:
the baton never falls.)

Let it come
like wildflowers,
suddenly, because the field
must have it: wildpeace.

Yehuda Amichai, “Wildpeace” from Selected Poetry. Copyright © 1996 by Yehuda Amichai. Reprinted by permission of University of California Press.

Source: Selected Poetry (University of California Press, 1986)

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Poet Yehuda Amichai 1924–2000

POET’S REGION Israel

Subjects Living, Youth, Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, War & Conflict

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Yehuda  Amichai

Biography

Yehuda Amichai is recognized as one of Israel’s finest poets. His poems—written in Hebrew—have been translated into forty languages, and entire volumes of his work have been published in English, French, German, Swedish, Spanish, and Catalan. Translator Robert Alter has said: “Yehuda Amichai, it has been remarked with some justice, is the most widely translated Hebrew poet since King David.” Amichai’s translations into English . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Youth, Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, War & Conflict

POET’S REGION Israel

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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