Open Closed Open: Poems

Front Cover
Harcourt, 2000 - Poetry - 184 pages
1 Review
Amichai writes of the language of love, and tea with roasted almonds, of desire and love. Of a Jewish cemetery whose groundskeeper is an expert on flowers and seasons of the year, but no expert on buried Jews; of Russian shirts embroidered in the colors of love and death; of Jerusalem, the city where everything sails: the flags, the prayer shawls, the caftans, the monks' robes, the kaffiyehs, and young women's dresses. The poet tenderly, mischievously, breaks open the grand diction of the revered Jewish verses and supplications and suddenly discovers the light that his own experience casts upon them. Here, the bread of memory and the circuses of forgetting, nostalgia for God and a better world, dust and heat, and tamarisk trees that stand as flight attendants for the next millennium, saying, "You can still get a seat on the third millennium before liftoff." Open Closed Open-poems at once meditative and playful, anxious and full of hope, sung in a language of biblical directness and meaning, that through the microcosm of the everyday give us the gift of the world at large.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

When this collection was published in 1998 in Israel, it was the first volume of Amichai's verse in nearly a decade and was greeted as a magnum opus; now that it can be read in English, in an adroit ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - VioletBramble - LibraryThing

According to the book jacket Amichai is Israels leading poet. This was his last book of poetry. Many of the poems in this collection are inspired by a small piece of stone that Amichai kept on his ... Read full review



Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

About the author (2000)

YEHUDA AMICHAI (1924-2000) has long been considered one of the great poets of the twentieth century. He was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Israel Prize, his country's highest honor. His work has been translated into more than thirty-seven languages. Winner of the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation

CHANA BLOCH, author of three books of poems, is co-translator of the Song of Songs and books by Amichai and Dahlia Ravikovitch. She lives in California.CHANA KRONFELD is professor of Hebrew, Yiddish, and comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley. She lives in California.Winner of the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation

Chana Kronfeld is Associate Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the coeditor of "David Fogel: The Emergence of Hebrew Modernism" (1993).

Bibliographic information