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Gods Change, Prayers Stay the Same

Tyrant of Words
United States 23awards
Joined 20th Mar 2015
Forum Posts: 5572

Poetry Contest

The Classic Corner: Yehuda Amichai tribute


Co-Hosts - Ahavati & JohnnyBlaze  

Part XXVIII in an ongoing series introducing serious writers of DUP to the most well-known poets, both classical and modern. 

Yehuda Amichai ( ‎May 3, 1924 – September 22, 2000 ) was born Ludwig Pfeuffer. Amichai is considered, both in Israel and internationally, as Israel's greatest modern poet, and one of the leading poets worldwide. He also wrote two novels and several short stories, and was one of the first to write in colloquial Hebrew.

Amichai's poetry deals with issues of day-to-day life and with the meaning of life and death. His work is characterized by gentle irony and original, often surprising imagery. He struggled with religious faith; his poems are full of references to God and the religious experience.

Amichai's work was popular in English translation, but admirers of his poetry in the original Hebrew claim his innovative use of the language is lost in translation. Subtle layers of meaning achieved using an ancient word rather than its modern synonym to impart a biblical connotation cannot always be conveyed. In Amichai's love poem In the Middle of This Century, for instance, the English translation reads: "the linsey-woolsey of our being together." The Hebrew term, shaatnez, refers to the biblical taboo on interweaving linen and wool, which a Hebrew reader would grasp as an image of forbidden union.

It was said of him, ""Almost every poem by Amichai is a statement about the general human condition and Amichai, in a certain sense, is always a philosophical poet."

For more information regarding Amichai, please visit the Poetry Foundation: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/yehuda-amichai


Write a new Poem honoring Amichai inspired by any one of his poems.

While you are allowed a maximum of 2 entries, only the best of your entries is considered viable for the trophy.

Do your best to make us feel as though we are reading poems by Amichai.  The more we feel you "capturing his essence" in "your own words" , the higher you will score. This will involve choice of wording, delivery, subject material, formatting, target audience - a wide range of factors.   

The Rules 

1.  Two entries per DUP persona.

2. No erotica; this is open to all ages and can't be viewed with an ECW ( Extreme Content Warning ).   

3. No exact word limit; however, attempt to keep it no more than 250 - 300.   

4. Any form is acceptable ( but studying the poet is advised ).   

5. Webmiss will be creating #YehudaAmichai in the theme list.  The page will automatically generate as soon as eight entrants hashtag the theme.  In the interim, #hashtag #YehudaAmichai at the bottom of your poem.

6. In your poem's notes, provide a link and a title to the very poem by Amichai that inspired yours. Without such, we have no way of determining if you were truly inspired by Amichai or simply swapped fresh words into his existing poetry ( which is a form of plagiarism ).

ALL NON-ELIGIBLE ENTRIES WILL BE REMOVED, AS WELL AS THOSE WRITTEN BY UNDISCLOSED ALTERNATE PROFILES. This is not a competition to deliberately ignore guidelines so as to advertise your work or sneak more entries in under a guise. And even If ypu have a profile that is violating site guidelines regarding disclosure, all of your profiles in this comp are rendered ineligible.

Comp will be judged by Ahavati & JohnnyBlaze. As in the past and in the event there is a tie, we will call in third ( and possibly fourth ) judge.

You have one month; best of luck to all entrants!

Tyrant of Words
Joined 7th Jan 2018
Forum Posts: 2990

Amen is Still Amen

Hebrew ...I do love
however... staring into the challenge
on my iPad brings a frown.
This poet speaks to humor
with Yiddish puns flying over my head
Rudimentary Hebrew is useless here

Ranting to my husband
About the loss; many hundreds of words
too precious to properly tolerate
the culture shock of my native tongue
I return my thoughts to his poem
lingering on a familiar word
that will never need translation


From: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/52940/the-amen-stone

Written by EdibleWords
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Fire of Insight
United States 13awards
Joined 18th Sep 2018
Forum Posts: 274

Forget Not Thy Father

Though my lineage be tarnished
And void of respect
Desolated by the sins of my father
I raised you through spirit
Free and unshackled of their cycle

I fed you my journeys
In hopes you’d grow strong
I anointed your foreheads
From a bowl of my shed tears
To awaken your protected circle

Though I may only be flesh and blood
I am not without fault
I raised you better than that of my father
Under the protected mercy of our father
I have sacrificed much just to lose all
But I know he has a plan for me
And I know one day we shall meet again

My heart and soul they pray for you
Though these lips will never move
An absent father filled with regret
I walk the road laid out by our father
Dreams and wishes I hold dear
Silently loathing the ones, you call guardian
Ever waiting for that day we’ll meet
Hoping you don’t forget your father
Or our father…..


Written by Sex_on_the_Joe (Joe-D)
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Joshua Bond
Tyrant of Words
Portugal 40awards
Joined 2nd Feb 2017
Forum Posts: 1297

Gassing Beliefs at the Pedestrian Crossing

Josh (Joshua Bond)
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“I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas . . . I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes. The moral effect should be so good . . . and would spread a lively terror.”  (Winston Churchill, 1919, presiding over the British Air Council)

Gassing Beliefs at the Pedestrian Crossing

Old Palestinian shuffles slowly across road
aided by his stick.
Mortality snags me through the windscreen —
I clutch the steering-wheel, eyes squinting the future.
Engines idle time
counting down incessantly, fuming with urgency.

Is he a world to be conquered?

The car behind toots impatiently —
window wound down
driver blows smoke at the wind’s leisure; flicks ash.
Ahead, a flock of starlings swarms in classic unity,
a movement of music
ethereally painted on the backdrop of a grey sky.
Two scavenging dogs sniff odd smells amidst the traffic
then fight for a bone. Increasingly lost to an obscure world
paradise questions progress,
poverty cross-examines plenty.
Each moment rests in unique potential
anticipating, hovering —
every electron, every drop of water, every human — sacred:
but God is on holiday
and scared we stumble in a foggy muddle
by and by.


Comp entry for “Gods Change, Prayers Stay the Same”, hosted by Johnny Blaze. Reference Amichai’s poem “Half the People in the World”, found on-line here: https://kaitlinsgill.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/yehuda-amichais-half-the-people-in-the-world/

Tyrant of Words
United States 113awards
Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 12028


( after Yehuda Amichai )      
"...I should like someone to remember
that there once lived a person named
David Berger."
-- David Berger (in his last letter, Vilna, 1941)  

There is peace beyond the grave  
or material hardening of soil
after life acquiesces
  its due diligence to death—
or the space between parent
and prodigal child, returning—
ribcage splintered in repentance
  for a peaceful resolution
What is it, then, when a honey bee
surrenders its sting to survive—
  yet dies naturally anyway
For some men, peace comes
in remembrance—
not for who they were as humans;
  or, what they accomplished—
but only that they existed—
their history contingent upon
  the wildcard of another's recollection
#Yehuda Amichai        
Written by Ahavati
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Fire of Insight
United States 6awards
Joined 20th July 2014
Forum Posts: 433

[ CC ] I am suddenly a poet, for the time being

—words coming from ferrous ether, attracted to my    
core magnetic as if ball bearings daisy-chained into      
literary architectures serving higher function—    
finite order mantained, manifested from chaos infinite.      
I am weaponized with knowledge obscured in      
sub atomic guise of metaphor and symbolism—    
an automotan from an outer spaced realm      
landing on your homeworld, primed with directive      
to destroy archaic ways of thought and repopulate      
planet with enlightened beingness.      
Your landscape of imagination terraformed,      
parameters of your understanding reconfigured,      
carbon based society without choice but to rebuild      
itself from ashen rubble in the wake of invasion—    
onslaughted with internal logical consistent warfare      
And in the cutting lasers of irony, having served      
my purpose, I am become the science fiction of     
tomorrow's yesterday — superceded, obsolete,  
cheap ... destined for the Bargain Bin scrap heap  
Written by Magnetron
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Tyrant of Words
United States 113awards
Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 12028

We now have #YehudaAmichai thanks to Webmiss. Please edit your themes accordingly.  

Dangerous Mind
United Kingdom 37awards
Joined 1st Jan 2018
Forum Posts: 760

Did someone in passing inquire

Did someone in passing inquire, the resident did he live here
last finale, the truth as he coughed and choke
shoes and clothes, rags and holes
in alley long, the house shadows obscures

Springs heavy flower soon drops, and then decays
time of refreshing rain. for each expired still stands admired
beauty in the sin of innocence. and ruins rise the same
the dust that blinds the gaze

A new presence is it calm, a tranquil balm
todays issues, and hell held at the length of arm
the winds of time, eddy across our promised land
sway subtle reed for tomorrows shallows reveled

Dog tugs the lead, hears laughter that soon heals

Yahuda Amichai " it's been a while since they asked"

Written by slipalong
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jade tiger
Tyrant of Words
United States 154awards
Joined 9th Nov 2015
Forum Posts: 5134

This Virus Won’t Keep Me From My Own Bed

( after Yahuda Amichai )  

I know it seems humanity is lost,  
But times are no more worse than holocausts.  
No matter how the news fills us with dread,  
This virus won’t keep me from my own bed.  
Though I am isolated, hear me now;  
The people of this world remember how  
Pandemics, famine, wars are ever spread.  
This virus won’t keep me from my own bed.  
Could Samson kill Corona for his God?  
Does fear make us call Death a hoax, a fraud?  
Are questions ever solved when blood is shed?  
This virus won’t keep me from my own bed.  
The men who burn with fever lay the blame,  
Their children and their children play a game.  
 Lay down a sword when words of peace are said;  
This virus won’t keep me from my own bed.  
Written by Jade-Pandora (jade tiger)
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Dangerous Mind
United States 28awards
Joined 30th June 2016
Forum Posts: 692

Rain In A Foreign Land (Memory of Rain)

The past is foreign to me
but I remember rain.
The land will not remember me but
her and I will recall the same.
How I turned on her earth  
in the crushed grass with the
burden of thirst and so, too
waiting in vain
To be remembered by her people,
yet no one saw us in that Summer's frame.
Our union was but a moment as
my bare skin touched her and she
brushed my thighs.
But I did not belong to her
nor her to I so I moved along, away.
And as I turned from her to leave
the sky turned dark and it rained;
as if to say, 'Don't forget me,
I am as thirsty as you  
to be remembered'.
Written by PoetsRevenge
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Tyrant of Words
United States 138awards
Joined 11th July 2012
Forum Posts: 1633

Drums of Praise and Worship

Every Sunday morning
I’d arrive at church ten minutes early before service
For a small rehearsal with the group
But I always wanted to play in the evening service
They had longer louder livelier set
And a bigger congregation

Yet somehow as I was beginning to question my faith
I was asked if I would be interested in being a youth pastor
But I knew deep down I was not a good example
My Monday through Saturday self was different than my Sunday self
I left that congregation a year or so later
Joined a church that was starting and started playing drums again

One day my new pastor I was asked if I’d conduct Bible studies
But I knew my heart, I was living a lie, worse than before
I wasn’t right with the Lord
Or in my marriage
And upon the bomb that went off at home
I left everything behind
And I haven’t played the drums ever since
Written by wallyroo92
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Jennifer Michael McCurry
Tyrant of Words
United States 28awards
Joined 22nd June 2015
Forum Posts: 2047

Out of the Sacred

Oh see her
And witness  
the dying of an Angel  
Her face  
Torn from it's shadows  
Grimacing and angular  
Scowling woman's perversions  
Like alabaster deity  
While whisps of her veil  
Singe and rise  
Carried off and into  
Some cold  
and unholy current  
And her ashes  
They obscure my sun  
And they darken the sanctuary  
Of my horizon  
She passes  
And it would not be quick  
Then tossing great beauty to the floor  
An afterthought.....  
I reach for it  
And thread it through my fingers  
as if it were a rosary ...
as if I were the blessed and faithful  
praying for an end
Written by calamitygin (Jennifer Michael McCurry)
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Tyrant of Words
United States 23awards
Joined 20th Mar 2015
Forum Posts: 5572

Ahavati and I promise we will eventually award a trophy in this challenge as soon as we can get a free moment to beam ourselves down from the USS Stanza! LOL

Tyrant of Words
United States 113awards
Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 12028

Thank you all for your patience; we'll be announcing the winners today.

Tyrant of Words
United States 23awards
Joined 20th Mar 2015
Forum Posts: 5572

A big thank you to all who paid tribute to this month's featured poets. As in previous months, these are very difficult to judge, and sometimes come down to a simple typo or grammatical error breaking a tie. This month was no different.

Call it emulation, we seek the essence of the classic author in the entrant's own style - not just replacing words of existing poems, but writing as though they were those classic authors ( regardless of form utilized ).

Our Classic Champions, as we like to refer to them, work HARD, and it shows in their writing. They study and deliver fresh poetry as opposed to borderline plagiarism. They double-check spelling, grammar, form, guidelines, and put forth their heart into these comps.  

We recognize that effort and award accordingly, judging on a scale of 1-5 spelling, grammar, punctuation, form, and content - while the most important question we ask ourselves is this:  Did we feel like we were reading a classic poet?

All that being said, congratulations to the following winners!

First Place: PoetsRevenge

Merely from words, your entry makes one ache to have the kind of vivid experiences that Yehuda was a master of framing into memories he could later write about.  We are literarily in your world of rain with its voices on the thunder clouds!

Second Place: EdibleWords

You did a great job of illustrating the disconnect experienced when encountering unfamiliar words during a poem. The poem is then like one of those aforementioned shattered graveyard stones in Amichai's that through acceptance, you make the best of what you're given to work with.

Third Place: Sex_on_the_Joe

You created a uniquely layered poem by incorporating the relationships between so many sons and fathers. The inspiration poem conveys a reverence for Jerusalem, while yours is of family likewise not to be taken for granted.

And a round of applause to everyone else who braved Amichai!

Congratulations to everyone for quality entries; thank you again for honoring the classics.  We hope to see you June 1st for our next Classic Corner challenges!

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