MORE ABOUT THIS BOOK
When I Was a Child
When I was a child
grasses and masts stood at the seashore,
and as I lay there
I thought they were all the same
because all of them rose into the sky above me.
Only my mother’s words went with me
like a sandwich wrapped in rustling waxpaper,
and I didn’t know when my father would come back
because there was another forest beyond the clearing.
Everything stretched out a hand,
a bull gored the sun with its horns,
and in the nights the light of the streets caressed
my cheeks along with the walls,
and the moon, like a large pitcher, leaned over
and watered my thirsty sleep.
My Mother Baked the Whole World for Me
My mother baked the whole world for me
In sweet cakes.
My beloved filled my window
With raisins of stars.
And my yearnings closed inside me
Like bubbles in a loaf of bread.
On the outside, I am smooth and quiet and brown.
The world loves me.
But my hair is sad as reeds in a drying swamp—
All the rare birds with beautiful plumage
Flee from me.
BENJAMIN AND BARBARA HARSHAV
Copyright © 2015 by Hana Amichai
Introduction and selection copyright © 2015 by Robert Alter