A couple of new books have recently come out about Yehuda Amichai.
First, the publication of Robert Alter’s new book, The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai, is a compilation of a variety of previous translations as well as many poems that have never been translated into English before. Alter, who is the preeminent Hebrew literature translator and critic, has done a fine job assembling all of the poems together in one volume, old and new. Plus, he has added an informative introduction that places Amichai’s work in the context of modern poetry and contemporary Hebrew literature. Continue reading
Earlier this month, a tribute was held to Yehuda Amichai and his poetry in San Francisco. Participating were Hana Amichai, his wife, Emmanuela Amichai, his daughter, Hebrew literary critic and translator Robert Alter, poet and translator Chana Bloch and comparative literature critic and translator Chana Kronfeld. The gathering was in honor of a new book of Amichai’s poetry in English, “The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai.” Continue reading
After I selected the poems for The Amichai Windows, I soon realized that I would have to translate them myself. There were good translations, of course. But in each one there was always something that I would have done differently. And so I began to think about translating Amichai and how best to do it. Continue reading
Today, the day before Yom Kippur, marks the 15th anniversary since Yehuda Amichai’s death on Sept. 22, 2000. In his honor, I am posting my translation of his poem, “Yom Kippur,” which is included in The Amichai Windows. Continue reading
“Poetry is what gets lost in translation,” Robert Frost is often quoted as saying.
It’s true, but it’s not true. The original connotations and impact of a poem is lost in translation, that’s true. One can not move from one country to another without a sense of dislocation, of newness, of discovery. But, that’s just it. A new language presents the opportunity for the poet to be discovered by a new audience — and for the poem to resonate in new ways. It might not be the same as the original but it can take on a life of its own. Continue reading
As I’m getting started with this blog, I wanted to compile some Amichai links for you about his life and work.
Here are the Amichai links that I have found so far. I’ll post more Amichai links as I become aware of them. In the meantime, I wanted to give you a brief description of the Amichai links so far: Continue reading
Welcome to The Amichai Windows!
It has been quite an adventure since I began some eight years ago — well, really more than eight years ago depending on when you begin counting. If you start from my first becoming acquainted with Amichai’s writings, then you have to go back to the 1980s. When I first got a copy of Amichai’s poems in Hebrew, Aschshav BeRaash, from a dear friend, I never dreamed that I would meet him and his wife, Hana. Or that I would ever become a book artist myself and publish some of his poems years later. Continue reading