Page 43 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 18

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a h n
— Y
o f
when the round moon draws a sea across my face,
I see my poverty
I see your eyes—
their flame is one.
with every Always beating, sinking, you
forth from my body
leap, a bat
released from ruins.
(Trans. Robert Friend,
The Jerusalem Post)
A. Gilboa has displayed prolifically a sheer exuberance
of spirit and a vitality of language and image which are im-
t h e
o rn ing
Suddenly a man rises in the morning and feels that he is
a nation and starts to walk
and he greets every one he meets on his way with “Shalom.”
Grain rises to meet him between the cracks in the sidewalk
and China trees thrust sweet odors at his head.
The sprinkling dews and myriad-horned mountains—they
will give birth to a canopy of sun for his espousals.
And he laughs away the mountain-born valor of generations
and the battles are ashamed and bow down
to the majesty of a millennium trickling in secret.
A thousand young years lie before him—
like a cool brook.
Like a shepherd’s song.
Like a bough.
Suddenly a man rises in the morning and feels that he is
a nation and starts to walk
and sees Spring come back, as if an autumn-naked tree were
greening again.
But, while he has carved out an original style, he has thus far
produced only short poems (whatever be the complex patterns
he has sought by grouping them in his volumes). He exemplifies,
one feels, the problem of a brilliant talent which has not yet
found its full scope.
Amichai’s first book seems to have established his reputation
as the spokesman for the emerging generation, and a continuous
growth has been manifest in each succeeding volume.17 He does
not repeat himself, and among his fellows he has exhibited best
17 Already in 1958, Meir Mindlin (then literary editor of
The Jerusalem
found that he gave “every sign of developing into a major poet”
( “Israel’s Intellectuals,”
March 1958, p. 225).