No Rattling of Sabers: An Anthology of Israeli War Poetry
By: Esther Raizen
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In this collection, Esther Raizen explores the significance and value of Hebrew poetry written in response to the wars in which Israel was involved during the last fifty years. The anthology includes the works...Read more
In this collection, Esther Raizen explores the significance and value of Hebrew poetry written in response to the wars in which Israel was involved during the last fifty years. The anthology includes the works of many poets, some as well known as Nathan Altherman and Yehudah Amichai and others less known. The poems, presented in both English and Hebrew, depict war as viewed by the soldier, as reflected upon by civilians, and as a force giving rise to the creation of poetry. Raizen explores in an introductory essay the issue of whether poetry written with a defined political message and in the context of certain historical events can function adequately on the aesthetic level. She also tracks the changes in the characteristics of Israeli war poetry from 1948 to 1991, beginning with the glorified patriotism expected in the 1930s-1940s and progressing to the critical ideas in the later years, during which poetry is characterized by understatement and cynicism. A native of Israel, Esther Raizen is Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures at the University of Texas at Austin.
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