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A Life of Poetry, 1948-1994

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"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. "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: 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. "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.

30 review for A Life of Poetry, 1948-1994

  1. 5 out of 5

    Théodore

    " Languages are like cats : You must not stroke their hair the wrong way. The clouds come from the sea , the hot wind from the desert, The trees bend in the wind , And stones fly from all four winds, Into all four winds.They throw stones , Throw this land , one at the other, But the land always falls back to the land. They throw the land ,want to get rid of it . Its stones ,its soil, but you can't get rid of it. They throw stones , throw stones at me Evil men throw and just men throw , " Languages are like cats : You must not stroke their hair the wrong way. The clouds come from the sea , the hot wind from the desert, The trees bend in the wind , And stones fly from all four winds, Into all four winds.They throw stones , Throw this land , one at the other, But the land always falls back to the land. They throw the land ,want to get rid of it . Its stones ,its soil, but you can't get rid of it. They throw stones , throw stones at me Evil men throw and just men throw , Sinners throw and tempters throw, Geologists throw and Theologists throw ..."

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jenni

    I can't get enough of Amichai. He has some of the most beautiful metaphors I've ever read. I can't get enough of Amichai. He has some of the most beautiful metaphors I've ever read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Max

    Very good and deep. It can get repetitive if you read it straight through. I recommend four or five poems per sitting so it doesnt all roll together.

  4. 4 out of 5

    James

    This large, comprehensive volume allows for a deep reading of Amichai, and I'm impressed at how consistent his poetry is over the years. However, the downfall of any large selected like this is that nature of consistency. Somewhere around page 200 I wanted to yell, "I get it! How about something a little different?" I'd take this poet slowly to avoid giving short shrift to any one poem. This would have rated more four or five stars if not for some issues I have with the translation. Sometimes th This large, comprehensive volume allows for a deep reading of Amichai, and I'm impressed at how consistent his poetry is over the years. However, the downfall of any large selected like this is that nature of consistency. Somewhere around page 200 I wanted to yell, "I get it! How about something a little different?" I'd take this poet slowly to avoid giving short shrift to any one poem. This would have rated more four or five stars if not for some issues I have with the translation. Sometimes the syntax is off, the grammar tweaked, a casual tone wreaked by an odd formalness--and vice versa. I've never noticed this in other translations, but it is hard to say whether this is the nature of native English writers doing the translating verses the (I believe) native Hebrew speakers translating this edition. But this is always a frustration with any translation: wondering how it sounds in the original.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    Israeli poet who is not afraid to address any topic boldly, and with nuance. He has heartbreaking poems, wry political commentary, and lots of fun biblical allusions.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    Amichai is great. In this very inclusive book, there are many, many translations that read as fine poems in English. Highly recommended.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Velvetink

    Mentioned in The Princessa: Machiavelli for Women by Harriet Rubin.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Clare

    This is good reading for midnight, for sleepless lonely times. Amichai's writing is meaty, true and clean. One of my favourite poetry books. This is good reading for midnight, for sleepless lonely times. Amichai's writing is meaty, true and clean. One of my favourite poetry books.

  9. 4 out of 5

    QUINCY PHAN

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carol

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jana DesForges

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nadya

  13. 5 out of 5

    Edward Vidaurre

  14. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  15. 4 out of 5

    Grant Hartley

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cate Calkins

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tamar

  18. 5 out of 5

    Charlie Martinez

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cora

  20. 5 out of 5

    John Golan

  21. 4 out of 5

    Esther

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sam

  23. 4 out of 5

    Samuel Regueira

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kimon Mrkts

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nisha R Abkarian

  26. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  27. 5 out of 5

    Das

  28. 5 out of 5

    laura

  29. 5 out of 5

    Erika

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rob

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