Amichai, Yehuda 1983

Friday, December 2, 1983
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Vintage poster of Yehuda Amichai's reading at the Poetry Center of Chicago.

Vintage poster of Yehuda Amichai’s reading at the Poetry Center of Chicago.

You too belong to another summer
the land’s soft underbelly is you too,
dry grass in the hair,
chaff stuck to a warm thigh,
oil of stillness on the forehead
and the smell of thirsty earth
in the hollow of your eyes.

Yehuda Amichai, “Rain in a Foreign Land”

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Read this interview with Yehuda Amichai from the Paris Review:

Yehuda Amichai, The Art of Poetry No. 44

Photograph by Hana Amichai Born in Würzburg, Germany in 1924, Yehuda Amichai emigrated to Palestine with his Orthodox Jewish family in 1936. During World War II he fought with the Palestinian brigade of the British army in the Middle East, and he served as a commando in the Haganah und…

My father fought their war four years or so,
And did not hate or love his enemies.
Already he was forming me, I know,
Daily, out of his tranquilities;

– Yehuda Amichai, “Sonnet”

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Read this NPR segment on Yehuda Amichai:

Love, War and History: Israel’s Yehuda Amichai

Poet Yehuda Amichai spoke with Henry Lyman in New York in 1989. For nearly 20 years, Henry Lyman hosted a radio program called Poems to a Listener out of WFCR in Amherst, Mass. He interviewed leading American poets of the day – writers like Richard Wilbur, Robert Penn Warren and Jane Kenyon.

More info on Yehuda Amichai⇒

Called “the most widely translated Hebrew poet since King David,” Yehuda Amichai was born in Germany in 1924 to an Orthodox Jewish family. They immigrated to Jerusalem in 1936, where Amichai would eventually study Hebrew literature at the University of Jerusalem. He published his first book of poetry, Now and in Other Days, in 1955. One of the first poets to write in colloquial Hebrew, he would go on to win multiple international poetry prizes for his work, translated into forty languages. Amichai died in 2000 at age 76.