Yehuda Amichai (1924-2000) is widely beloved as Israel’s “national poet.” His iconic poems are read at public ceremonies and Memorial Day services, but many of his lesser-known poems equally evoke the land and its history. Born in Germany, Amichai emigrated to Mandate Palestine in 1936, witnessed the birth and growth of the state and fought in many of its wars. With eminent translator/critic Robert Alter, we take an in-depth look at a few of Amichai’s poems and unlock the secrets of their lasting appeal.

In conversation with Moment book review editor Amy E. Schwartz.

The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai

Israel at 75 offers a far richer culture than a visitor can grasp from just following its politics or visiting its tourist sites. One powerful way to plunge deeper is to read Israeli literature. Like the Talmud, though, it’s a vast sea. Where should you start?

This program is part of the Israel@75 Book Series, co-sponsored by The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and Moment Magazine, that explores today’s Israel through the eyes of writers in a kaleidoscope of genres: novel, memoir, short stories, poems. For each work, we offer a special guest: the author, the translator, or a scholar who guides readers through the text as well as field readers’ questions. Moment book review editor Amy E. Schwartz leads these conversations.


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