old granary burial ground

 

The Resurrection of the Dead

 

We are buried below with everything we did,

with our tears and our laughs.

We have made storerooms of history out of it all,

galleries of the past, and treasure houses,

buildings and walls and endless stairs of iron and marble

in the cellars of time.

We will not take anything with us.

Even plundering kings, they all left something here.

Lovers and conquerors, happy and sad,

they all left something here, a sign, a house,

like a man who seeks to return to a beloved place

and purposely forgets a book, a basket, a pair of glasses,

and purposely forgets a book, a basket, a pair of glasses,

so that he will have an excuse to come back to the beloved place.

In the same way we leave things here.

In the same way the dead leave us.

-Yehuda Amichai

(translated from the Hebrew by Leon Wieseltier)

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© 2007-2017, Steve Donoghue