RE: tired friday

From: David Preiss (
Date: Mon Aug 30 2004 - 07:32:30 PDT

Mike's Czeslaw's poem remembered me of the following one by Yehuda Amichai.

God Full of Mercy

God-Full-of-Mercy, the prayer for the dead.
If God was not full of mercy,
Mercy would have been in the world,
Not just in Him.
I, who plucked flowers in the hills
And looked down into all the valleys,
I, who brought corpses down from the hills,
Can tell you that the world is empty of mercy.
I, who was King of Salt at the seashore,
Who stood without a decision at my window,
Who counted the steps of angels,
Whose heart lifted weights of anguish
In the horrible contests.

I, who use only a small part
Of the words in the dictionary.

I, who must decipher riddles
I don't want to decipher,
Know that if not for the God-full-of-mercy
There would be mercy in the world,
Not just in Him.

Translated from the Hebrew by Barbara and Benjamin Harshav, in A Life of
Poetry: 1948 - 1994, New York, HarperCollins, 1994, with thanks to the

David D. Preiss
home page:

"In our world of six billion people, one billion own 80 percent of the world
's wealth, while another billion struggle to survive on less than a dollar a

James Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Cole []
Sent: Friday, August 27, 2004 7:34 PM
Subject: tired friday

On a tired Friday with a long weekend of work ahead, this poem by the late
Czeslaw Milosz resonated strongly with recent thoughts and experiences, so
I thought I would avoid the next task in line by sending it out to you
all in hopes you also find it worth thinking with.


If there is no God,
Not everything is permitted to man.
He is still his brother's keeper
And he is not permitted to sadden his brother,
By saying there is no God.

I have no idea how to render the thought gender neutral in either Polish
or English, but assuming it to be so generalized, I find it an
interesting thought.

More to come....... God willing.

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