Yehuda Amichai (1924-2000)
Born in Würzburg, Germany, Yehuda Amichai immigrated to Palestine in 1936, and shortly thereafter to Jerusalem. He served in the Jewish Brigade in World War II, and he fought in the Israel War of Independence in the Palmach. His writing draws from these autobiographical experiences. His work often explores war, family bonds, love, and disillusionment. A versatile writer, Amichai wrote plays and poetry. It is his poetry that garnered him the most critical acclaim, with critics hailing him as Israel’s foremost poet. His works, “An Arab Shepherd is Searching for his Goat on Mount Zion” and “Jerusalem” are from his 1987 work, Poems of Jerusalem. He explores the contemporary Jewish experiences using in language found in everyday life juxtaposed with language from epics and the Bible.
Consider while reading:
- What political conflicts is Amichai addressing in these poems? Does he seem to be advocating for one side or the other?
- How would you describe Amichai’s poetic style?
- Discuss symbolism in Amichai’s work.
Written by Laura Ng