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Yehuda Amichai (1924-2000) was Israel's most popular poet, as well as a literary figure of international reputation. In this collection, renowned translators Chana Bloch and Stephen Mitchell have selected Amichai's most beloved poems, including forty poems from his later work. A new foreword by C.K. Williams, written especially for this edition, addresses Amichai's enduring legacy and sets his poetry in the context of the new millennium.
The largest English-language collection to date from Israel’s finest poet Few poets have demonstrated as persuasively as Yehuda Amichai why poetry matters. One of the major poets of the twentieth century, Amichai created remarkably accessible poems, vivid in their evocation of the Israeli landscape and historical predicament, yet universally resonant. His are some of the most moving love poems written in any language in the past two generations—some exuberant, some powerfully erotic, many suffused with sadness over separation that casts its shadow on love. In a country torn by armed conflict, these poems poignantly assert the preciousness of private experience, cherished under the repeated threats of violence and death. Amichai’s poetry has attracted a variety of gifted English translators on both sides of the Atlantic from the 1960s to the present. Assembled by the award-winning Hebrew scholar and translator Robert Alter, The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai is by far the largest selection of the master poet’s work to appear in English, gathering the best of the existing translations as well as offering English versions of many previously untranslated poems. With this collection, Amichai’s vital poetic voice is now available to English readers as it never has been before.
Cohen takes an in-depth critical look at three novelists and two poets who stand at the forefront of contemporary Israeli literature, and whose works have been widely read, studied, and admired in the Western world. The critiques examine all English translations of these Israeli writers major works from the beginning of their careers up to the present. Cohen demonstrates the vitality and virtuosity of the so-called New Wave Israeli writers whose sources and influences are as ancient as the stories of the Hebrew Bible and as modern as the interiorization of reality found in Proust, Faulkner, Woolf, and Joyce; and the literary adaptation of relativity found in Borges, Lowry, and Durrell. "
Despite the urgent need to develop understandings of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the light of the current situation in the Middle East, the role of violence and reconciliation in Palestinian and Israeli literature and film has received only brief treatment. This book is intended to fill that void; that is to explore how Israelis and Palestinians view and depict themselves and each other in situations that lead to either violence or reconciliation, and the ways in which both parties define themselves in relation to one another. The book examines selected Palestinian and Israeli literary works and a small number of films and their tacit assumptions about Israeli Jews. It will attempt to look at, among other questions a) is violence perceived as a means of empowerment, b) is there connection between imaginary violence in literature and actual violence, and what is the nature of the association between creative writers and violence? (eg. popular writer Ghassan Kanafani who is also a spokesman for the violent PFLP).
"The poems glow with pleasure in themselves. One can hear a kind of laughter resonating, as if having surpassed the moment and its trial, having presented suffering yet having set distance from it through the medium of his art. Though Dan Pagis has died too soon, may we learn from him to live."—David Ignatow
Selections from twenty-seven Hebrew poets, many of whose poems appear here in English for the first time.

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