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March 17, 2023


Amichai was such a great poet.

Great poem, all too relevant right now, again, in far too many countries (including the United States). But, why isn't the translator credited? Translating poetry requires skills that go beyond words; it involves profound knowledge of the culture and history that generated the language of the original. Another question: Does this translation really say "a woman that"? If the translator was the late Chana Bloch, Amichai's first translator into English, who knew him personally and worked with him, I think she would have written "a woman who". (Chana and I were contemporaries, good friends for many years until her untimely death.)

Thank you for the comment, Jacqueline. I have a high regard for Chana Bloch and would have supplied the translator's name had it been included in the three or four places I checked. Take, for example, the Academy of Americaan Poets
If Chana did translate the poem, do let me know; I'll be glad to acknowledge the fact.

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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