Even a Fist Was Once an Open Palm with Fingers: Recent Poems

Yehuda Amichai, Author, Barbara Harshav, Translator, Benjamin Harshav, Translator Harper Perennial $21.95 (96p) ISBN 978-0-06-055297-8
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.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
Paperback - 96 pages - 978-0-06-096869-4
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