A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
So let’s be an open hand, one of them says, offering our time to the Gods. The other responds: Even a fist was an open palm with five fingers. And it goes on like this, year after year, age after age, these two souls hovering, indistinguishable in the light, reciting their spirit-selves one after the other, no longer grieving their respective exiles, the breath of their words shaping the winds across the deserts of their homeland, which is the same homeland, and now they recite together, each listening hard to the other’s language.
Copyright 2019 Philip Terman
Yehuda Amichai (born Ludwig Pfeuffer, 1924 – 2000) was an Israeli poet. Amichai is considered, both in Israel and internationally, as Israel’s greatest modern poet, and one of the leading poets worldwide. He was one of the first to write in colloquial Hebrew.
Mahmoud Darwish (1941 – 2008) was widely regarded as the Palestinian national poet. Darwish used Palestine as a metaphor for the loss of Eden, birth and resurrection, and the anguish of dispossession and exile. He is often credited with reviving the tradition of the political poet in Islam.
For an extended comparison and contrast of the poetry of Yehuda Amichai and Mahmoud Darwish, click here.