Yehuda Amichai: A Life of Poetry, 1948-1994

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Harper Collins, 1995 - Poetry - 477 pages
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A full-scale, comprehensive collection of the work of Yehuda Amichai, Israel's most esteemed poet and "one of the half-dozen leading poets in the world."-- "The Nation"

"Yehuda Amichai: A Life of Poetry 1948-1994" offers a comprehensive and timely evaluation of the body of work of one of our most valuable poets in any language. Employing the style and idiom of a post-Modernism--of a twentieth-century artist--and filtering it through the prism of his Israeli and Jewish sensibilities, Amichai's words ifs cosmopolitan, muscular, and ironic. Resounding with the exhilarating of the human encounters--it is brought into the sharper contrast by the ever-present precariousness of Israeli existence. The burden and legacy of this history, and its impact upon modern, secular society, places Amichai's work within a uniquely Israeli landscape--arid, verdant, cruel, and beautiful--while simultaneously transcending national and religious borders. Translated from the Hebrew by Benjamin and Barbara Harshav, this volume brings Amichai to his rightful place beside the leading poets of the twentieth century.

"Amichai is one of those alarming poets who time and again seems to be making sense of our own poorly perceives responses to life."
-- "Jerusalem Post"

"Mr. Amichai demonstrated that he is a representative man with the unusual gifts who is telling his own story also relates the large story of his people."
-- "New York Time Book Review" "Amichai demonstrates that he is a representative man with unusual gifts who in telling his own story also relates the large story of his people." "--New York Times Book Review"

 

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User Review  - amyfaerie - LibraryThing

Lovely poetry. Nice to have a collection this complete. Recommended by Ilya Kaminsky in a workshop, and I'm glad I've bought it and read more of Amichai's work. Read full review

Contents

ONE
263
ELEVEN
269
TWENTY TWO
275
THIRTYFOUR
281
FORTY THREE
287
FIFTY NINE
293
FO RGETTING SOMEON E
309
THE ETERNAL MYSTERY
315

FORECASl
54
SOMBER SPRING
60
DONT PREPARE FOR TOMORROW
70
Poems of Jerusalem
79
MY CHILD WAFFS PEACE
88
HAYDN OPUS 76 NUMBER 5
134
PEOPLE WITH NO FUTURE LOVE
140
FAMILY
146
The Travels of Benjamin the Last ofTudela
160
SLEEP IN JERUSALEM
191
SUMMER NIGHT IN THE KING DAVID HOTEL
197
WILD PEACE
203
HYMN TO THE LOVELY COUPLE VARDA
206
SIGNS AND EVIDENCE IN THE ORCHARD
213
GREAT FATIGUE
219
TO DIE TO BE HORN
225
Behind All That Hides a Great Happiness 1974
235
POEM
244
from ELEGIES ON THE WAR DEAD
250
A CZECH REFUGEE IN LONDON
256
HISTORYS WINGS BEATING THEY USED TO SAY
321
JERUSALEM IS FULL OF USED JEWS
327
TOURISTS
333
QUES TIONS AND ANSWERS
339
THE REAL HERO OF THE SACRIFICE OF ISAAC
345
A MAN IN HIS LIFE
351
THE LAST WORD IS CAPTAIN
357
A PRECISE WOMAN
363
OH IVY GROWING
367
MEMORY OF LOVETERMS AND CONDITIONS
380
DANGEROUS COUNTRY
393
Anniversaries of
409
TWO DISAPPEARED IN THE HOUSE
415
The Four Resurrections in the Valley
422
SUMMER REST AND WORDS
428
AUTUMN IS NEAR AND MEMORY OF MY PARENTS
430
DEGANYA
443
AT THE SEASHORE
456
THIS IS THE LIFE OF PROMISES
469
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About the author (1995)

Yehuda Amichai was born in Germany and immigrated to Palestine in 1936. His novels and poetry are innovative in their use of Hebrew terms. Following World War II and Israel's War of Independence in 1948, Amichai began to introduce new words of technical, legal, and administrative meaning into his poetry to replace sacral phrases. Amichai's poetry reflects the modernizing of the Hebrew language within the last 45 years. "One of Amichai's most characteristic effects in his poetry is the mingling of past and present, ancient and modern, person and place: the here and now for him inevitably recalls the past" (Judaica Book News). One of Israel's most highly regarded poets, Amichai shared the Israel Prize for Literature with Amir Gilboa in 1981.

Yehuda Amichai's poetry has been collected into collected into several volumes in English, including Love Poems, Poems of Jerusalem, and Even a Fist Was Once an Open Palm with Fingers. His work has been translated into over twenty languages. He lives in Jerusalem.

Barbara Harshav has translated more than thirty books from German, French, Hebrew, and Yiddish, including After the Holocaust, Jewish Memories, A Surplus of Memory, and My Life as a Radical Jewish Woman. A historian by profession, she lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

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