Yehudah Amichai, “Advice for Good Love”

Advice for good love: don’t love a woman

from far away. Choose one from nearby

the way a sensible house will choose local stones

that have frozen in the same cold and baked

in the same scalding sun.


Take one with the golden wreath around

the dark pupil of her eye, she has some

knowledge about your death. And love her also

in the midst of ruin

the way Samson took honey from the lion’s carcass.


And advice for bad love: with the love

left over from the one before

make a new woman for yourself, and then with

what’s left of her

make yourself a new love,

and go on that way

til in the end you are left with

nothing at all.

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