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.
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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.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
IN MY CHILDHOOD
In my childhood,
Grass and masts stood at the shore.
When I lay there,
They all rose above me to the skies,
I couldn't tell them apart.
My mother's words were with me
Like a sandwich wraped in rustling paper.
And I didn't know when my faher would return,
For, beyond the cleaning in the forest, was another forest.
All thinngs stretched out their hands.
A bull gored the sun.
At night the streetlight stroked
My cheeks with the walls.
The moon, a big jar, bent over
And watered my thirsty sleep.
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