Yehuda Amichai

(1924 - 2000 / Würzburg / Germany)

I Want To Die In My Own Bed


All night the army came up from Gilgal
To get to the killing field, and that's all.
In the ground, warf and woof, lay the dead.
I want to die in My own bed.
Like slits in a tank, their eyes were uncanny,
I'm always the few and they are the many.
I must answer. They can interrogate My head.
But I want to die in My own bed.

The sun stood still in Gibeon. Forever so, it's willing
to illuminate those waging battle and killing.
I may not see My wife when her blood is shed,
But I want to die in My own bed.

Samson, his strength in his long black hair,
My hair they sheared when they made me a hero
Perforce, and taught me to charge ahead.
I want to die in My own bed.

I saw you could live and furnish with grace
Even a lion's den, if you've no other place.
I don't even mind to die alone, to be dead,
But I want to die in My own bed.


Translated from the Hebrew by Barbara and Benjamin Harshav

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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  • Cantrell Dicky (3/8/2006 9:16:00 AM)

    I am finding your poems to be so deep and moving
    I read the scriptures and see your heritage and connection
    Your work is very much from the heart (Report) Reply

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