Due to an accomplished rendition from the Hebrew by Assia Gutmann, these brief poems by the Israeli whose novel, Not of This Time, Not of This Place, was published here recently (1968), retain a sharply lucid intensity. Sobered by the intransigence of human life, Amichai bitterly witnesses the many deaths of individual lives and loves: ""The world closes behind us,/ the sand straightens itself."" Familial continuity and Diasporic vistas of closed railroad stations are an expensive network to maintain. But rootlessness and irrelevance are shared by everyone in a charade of bifurcation: a dead king and the tired man whose bed is his kingdom; ""Taxis below and angels above."" With an introduction by Michael Hamburger, these poems are as acrid and arresting as a stark desert landscape.