Even a Fist Was Once an Open Palm with Fingers: Recent Poems

Overview

Yehuda Amichai's career, in the biblical phrase, goes from strength to strength. Now in his mid-sixties, Amichai continues to write poems that have both extraordinary simplicity and subtlety, that bear both his common touch and his unique fingerprints, that manage to be both timely and timeless. At the same time, there is a deepening note in this selection made from his two most recent books in Hebrew, a more intense looking back and looking forward, a greater concentration on first things and last things. A ...
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NY 1991 paperback First Edition Trade paperback, new in wraps 0060968699 Selected and Translated by Barbara and Benjamin Harshav.

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Overview

Yehuda Amichai's career, in the biblical phrase, goes from strength to strength. Now in his mid-sixties, Amichai continues to write poems that have both extraordinary simplicity and subtlety, that bear both his common touch and his unique fingerprints, that manage to be both timely and timeless. At the same time, there is a deepening note in this selection made from his two most recent books in Hebrew, a more intense looking back and looking forward, a greater concentration on first things and last things. A man's soul is like/ a train schedule/ and a precise and detailed schedule/ of trains that will never run again. A man taking his children to the sites of battles he fought in, or seeing the expression of a former friend in the beautiful eyes of his daughter, or traveling through the changing landscapes and climates of Israel: these are the kinds of everyday experiences that Amichai transmutes into elegy and prophecy. Conversely, the complexities of his vision typically find precise expression in the homeliest of images, as when he associates his memory of a boyhood sweetheart who died in the camps with a lone, unclaimed suitcase on a conveyor belt at an airport that "returns and disappears again / and returns again, ever so slowly, in the empty hall..." Amichai's sensibility is like a great organ, enlarging whatever note or motif he strikes.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060968694
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/1/1991
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 96

Table of Contents

Translators' Note
What Kind of a Person 1
Like the Streams in the Negev 3
Summer Evening in the Jerusalem Mountains 5
Anniversaries of War 7
Anniversaries of Love 13
Memories of Love 20
My Mother 23
From Jerusalem to the Sea and Back 25
Four Resurrections in the Valley of the Ghosts 30
I Am a Poor Prophet 34
Summer Evening at the Window with Psalms 36
Summer Rest and Words 38
Autumn Is Near and Memory of My Parents 40
Little Ruth 42
Sheepskin Coat 44
Man with Knapsack 47
My Son 49
Hymn to a Masseuse 51
The Greatest Desire of All 53
Deir Ayub, a Heap of Watermelons and the Rest of My Life 55
Changes, Mistakes, Loves 56
The First Rain on a Burned Car 58
Ramatayim 60
Deganya 62
Hadera 64
Beit Guvrin 66
Open Internalized 68
Surplus of Flowers in the World 69
Throw Pillows 70
Yom Kippur 71
A Man's Soul 73
Life 74
At the Seashore 75
Museum at Akhziv 77
I Want to Confuse the Bible 79
My Children 81
The Jews 83
The Land Knows 86
Temporary Poem of My Time 88
We Have Done Our Duty 91
This Is the Life of Promises 93
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