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(1924 - 2000 / Würzburg / Germany)

Yehuda Amichai
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Amichai was born in Würzburg, Germany, to an Orthodox Jewish family, and was raised speaking both Hebrew and German. According to literary scholar Nili Scharf Gold, a childhood trauma in Germany had an impact on his later poetry: he had an argument with a childhood friend of his, Ruth Hanover, that caused her to bicycle home angrily; she fell and as a result had to get her leg amputated. Several years later, she was unable to join the rest of her family, who fled the Nazi takeover, due to her missing leg, and ended up being killed in the Holocaust. Amichai occasionally referred to her in his poems as "Little Ruth".

Amichai immigrated with his family at the age of 12 to Petah Tikva... more »

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  • Doren Robbins (2/11/2005 3:09:00 AM)

    Amichai speaks in the direct idom of emotion that descended from Whitman's rhythmic prose-poem style. When I read such poems as 'Inside the Apple, ' 'The Real Hero, ' or 'A Pity. We Were Such A Good Invention, ' I understand again that great lyrical poetry is capable of translating the deepest emotions into langauge that brings us to the ground of what living a human life means. That is, his best poems are really hymns to this life full of paradoxical disappointments and exhilarating passion fused with elegies to the duration of those experiences themselves that bring our strongest affirmations.

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