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A Jewish Cemetery In Germany Analysis



Author: poem of Yehuda Amichai Type: poem Views: 7

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On a little hill amid fertile fields lies a small cemetery,

a Jewish cemetery behind a rusty gate, hidden by shrubs,

abandoned and forgotten. Neither the sound of prayer

nor the voice of lamentation is heard there

for the dead praise not the Lord.

Only the voices of our children ring out, seeking graves

   and cheering

each time they find one--like mushrooms in the forest, like

   wild strawberries.

Here's another grave! There's the name of my mother's

mothers, and a name from the last century. And here's a name,

and there! And as I was about to brush the moss from the name--

Look! an open hand engraved on the tombstone, the grave

   of a kohen,

his fingers splayed in a spasm of holiness and blessing,

and here's a grave concealed by a thicket of berries

that has to be brushed aside like a shock of hair

from the face of a beautiful beloved woman.





Translated by Chana Bloch and Chana Kronfeld






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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: A Jewish cemetery in Germ :.

In March 2008 we visited the Jewish cemetery in the village of Langenschwarz where some of my family lie buried. The opening lines describe what we found:
"On a little hill amid fertile fields lies a small cemetery,/
a Jewish cemetery behind a rusty gate, hidden by shrubs...."
We had the great good fortune of meeting Yehuda Amichai in 1984 in Jerusalem so this poem has additional layers of meaning for us, as it may for you.
Frederick and Barbara Hecht

| Posted on 2008-03-30 | by a guest




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