Cover image for Even a fist was once an open palm with fingers : recent poems
Title:
Even a fist was once an open palm with fingers : recent poems
Author:
Amichai, Yehuda.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Poems. Selections. English
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : HarperPerennial, [1991]

©1991
Physical Description:
ix, 96 pages ; 21 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780060552978

9780060968694
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library PJ5054.A65 A245 1991 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Author Notes

Yehuda Amichai was born in Germany and immigrated to Palestine in 1936. His novels and poetry are innovative in their use of Hebrew terms. Following World War II and Israel's War of Independence in 1948, Amichai began to introduce new words of technical, legal, and administrative meaning into his poetry to replace sacral phrases.

Amichai's poetry reflects the modernizing of the Hebrew language within the last 45 years. "One of Amichai's most characteristic effects in his poetry is the mingling of past and present, ancient and modern, person and place: the here and now for him inevitably recalls the past" (Judaica Book News).

One of Israel's most highly regarded poets, Amichai shared the Israel Prize for Literature with Amir Gilboa in 1981.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Yehuda Amichai was born in Germany and immigrated to Palestine in 1936. His novels and poetry are innovative in their use of Hebrew terms. Following World War II and Israel's War of Independence in 1948, Amichai began to introduce new words of technical, legal, and administrative meaning into his poetry to replace sacral phrases.

Amichai's poetry reflects the modernizing of the Hebrew language within the last 45 years. "One of Amichai's most characteristic effects in his poetry is the mingling of past and present, ancient and modern, person and place: the here and now for him inevitably recalls the past" (Judaica Book News).

One of Israel's most highly regarded poets, Amichai shared the Israel Prize for Literature with Amir Gilboa in 1981.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 6

Booklist Review

Amichai, one of Israel's best-known poets, here offers a fiercely emotional new work concerned with the way history sweeps through individuals. He meets the golden-haired granddaughter of the man who circumcised him; he sees an old friend's eyes in those of his daughter; he feels the pain of battlegrounds almost a half-century past. He locates memory in the body and, as that body ages, sees how history survives in other bodies: his children's, his friends' children. These translations capture the biblical simplicity of Amichai's psalmlike lines: "The land knows where the clouds come from and whence the hot wind, / whence hatred and whence love." A moving, passionate collection. ~--Pat Monaghan


Publisher's Weekly Review

In this reflective yet urgent collection, Amichai ( Love Poems ) further secures his place as one of Israel's most powerful voices and as one of the world's major poets. Characteristically concise and straightforward, the poet fuses colloquial speech and images from contemporary life with references to historical events and biblical lore as he probes the complex relationships between time and memory, faith and doubt, death and resurrection and--perhaps most importantly--the inextricable link between personal and public history: `` Sometimes I remember you, little Ruth, we were separated in our distant childhood and they burned you in the camps. / If you were alive now, you would be a woman . . . / on the verge of old age. '' The aging poet is beset with memories--of love, of war, of his parents and others long dead. With passion and subtlety, Amichai calls for a ``careful examination of the past, '' exhorting the reader to `` Remember: even the departure to terrible battles / passes by gardens and windows / and children playing, a dog barking. / . . . and do not forget, / even a fist / was once an open palm and fingers. '' (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

This prolific Hebrew poet ( Poems of Jerusalem , HarperCollins, 1988; Love Poems , LJ 8/81) has had new translators for each successive volume, yet his masterful similes work so well in English that readers barely notice. As their titles indicate, Amichai's recent works are about reminiscence: ``Anniversaries of War,'' ``Changes, Mistakes, Loves,'' or ``Anniversaries of Love.'' These are love poems in the finest sense of the word--elegies for past lovers and the memories they shared, with no animosity for love gone wrong. Those who have followed Amichai's poetry over the past 30 years will find these poems familiar: Israel's wars still intermingle with the poet's daily life; biblical-based images are once again made personal. With rare sensitivity and an untraditional spirituality, he proves himself one of the finest poets of our time.-- Rochelle Ratner, formerly Poetry Editor, ``Soho Weekly News,'' New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Booklist Review

Amichai, one of Israel's best-known poets, here offers a fiercely emotional new work concerned with the way history sweeps through individuals. He meets the golden-haired granddaughter of the man who circumcised him; he sees an old friend's eyes in those of his daughter; he feels the pain of battlegrounds almost a half-century past. He locates memory in the body and, as that body ages, sees how history survives in other bodies: his children's, his friends' children. These translations capture the biblical simplicity of Amichai's psalmlike lines: "The land knows where the clouds come from and whence the hot wind, / whence hatred and whence love." A moving, passionate collection. ~--Pat Monaghan


Publisher's Weekly Review

In this reflective yet urgent collection, Amichai ( Love Poems ) further secures his place as one of Israel's most powerful voices and as one of the world's major poets. Characteristically concise and straightforward, the poet fuses colloquial speech and images from contemporary life with references to historical events and biblical lore as he probes the complex relationships between time and memory, faith and doubt, death and resurrection and--perhaps most importantly--the inextricable link between personal and public history: `` Sometimes I remember you, little Ruth, we were separated in our distant childhood and they burned you in the camps. / If you were alive now, you would be a woman . . . / on the verge of old age. '' The aging poet is beset with memories--of love, of war, of his parents and others long dead. With passion and subtlety, Amichai calls for a ``careful examination of the past, '' exhorting the reader to `` Remember: even the departure to terrible battles / passes by gardens and windows / and children playing, a dog barking. / . . . and do not forget, / even a fist / was once an open palm and fingers. '' (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

This prolific Hebrew poet ( Poems of Jerusalem , HarperCollins, 1988; Love Poems , LJ 8/81) has had new translators for each successive volume, yet his masterful similes work so well in English that readers barely notice. As their titles indicate, Amichai's recent works are about reminiscence: ``Anniversaries of War,'' ``Changes, Mistakes, Loves,'' or ``Anniversaries of Love.'' These are love poems in the finest sense of the word--elegies for past lovers and the memories they shared, with no animosity for love gone wrong. Those who have followed Amichai's poetry over the past 30 years will find these poems familiar: Israel's wars still intermingle with the poet's daily life; biblical-based images are once again made personal. With rare sensitivity and an untraditional spirituality, he proves himself one of the finest poets of our time.-- Rochelle Ratner, formerly Poetry Editor, ``Soho Weekly News,'' New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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