In his beautiful, haunting poem, Summer Evening By A Window With Psalms, widely renowned Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai wishes for a more peaceful and compassionate world, far away from the suffering that he has so often witnessed.
In the third stanza in particular, Amichai draws on images from the Psalms:
I think: how many still waters
would be able to provide a night of stillness,
and how many green pastures, wide as deserts,
would provide an hour of tranquility
and how many valleys of the shadow of death
do we need for there to be a merciful shadow
in the harsh sunlight.
What, indeed, would it take—how many still waters, how many green pastures, how many valleys of the shadow of death would it take for there to be consolation in the modern world? Given the atrocities of the 20th century through which Amichai lived, one can hardly imagine how many it would take. Continue reading