The writing of Yehuda Amichai: a thematic approach by Glenda Abramson

By Glenda Abramson

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By Glenda Abramson

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Extra resources for The writing of Yehuda Amichai: a thematic approach

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Amichai himself later characterized this process in a poem which juxtaposes the ideal nationalistic unity and its later dissolution into individualism: When I was young so was the country. My father Was everyone's father. When I rejoiced the country rejoiced, When I leaped on it It leaped under my feet. The spring grass covering it Softened me too, its summer earth hurt me Like a blister on my heel. When I loved deeply Its independence was declared, when my hair flew So did its flags. When I went to war It went to war, when I got up It did too, and when I sank It began to sink with me.

A diachronic narrative, incorporating a soldier's death and the responses of his family and nation, the poem is based on an event from Amichai's life, the death of a comrade whom he carried on his back in battle. In the poem his lyric spokesman views the soldier's death as his own and that of everyone who suffered in the war, also as signifying the conclusion to one period or cycle of life and the commencement of another.

12 But this allegation applies as well to other twentieth-century Western literature, that has suffered the same withdrawal from catastrophe which the writers are no longer equipped to express either in appropriately epic terms or in viable language. Extreme subjectivity is consequently one of the most important features of early Israeli poetry. For the first time Hebrew readers were given an explicit insight into the private world of their poetic spokesmen. A further consequence of the poetry's withdrawal was its loss of functionality; it was no longer either polemical nor an epic reflection of an ideology, but revealed a certain common consciousness without attempting further to influence it.

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