Charlé LaMonica | November 21, 2017
Poetry, among many things, is a global way to communicate common ground between peoples and cultures. Take a moment today to read the poem The School Where I Studied, written by internationally acclaimed poet, Yehuda Amichai. Recognized as one of Israel’s finest poets, Amichai passes by the school where he studied as a boy and reflects on his experience. His poems, written in Hebrew, have been translated in 37 languages, and entire volumes of his works (he wrote 11 volumes of poetry, two novels and a book of short stories) have been published in English, French, German, Swedish, Spanish, and Catalan.
Imagine the millions of students sitting in classrooms all over the world today. Who will write the global poetry that is to come? Perhaps one of those poets is sitting in your school today. What image and memories will your school provide?
The School Where I Studied
I passed by the school where I studied as a boy
and said in my heart: here I learned certain things
and didn’t learn others. All my life I have loved in vain
the things I didn’t learn. I am filled with knowledge,
I know all about the flowering of the tree of knowledge,
the shape of its leaves, the function of its root system, its pests and parasites.
I’m an expert on the botany of good and evil,
I’m still studying it, I’ll go on studying till the day I die.
I stood near the school building and looked in. This is the room
where we sat and learned. The windows of a classroom always open
to the future, but in our innocence we thought it was only landscape
we were seeing from the window.
The schoolyard was narrow, paved with large stones.
I remember the brief tumult of the two of us
near the rickety steps, the tumult
that was the beginning of a first great love.
Now it outlives us, as if in a museum,
like everything else in Jerusalem.