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Yehuda (Estate) Amichai

Poetry, 2015

Edited by Robert Alter

The definitive volume of Yehuda Amichai’s poetry, including new translations and poems never translated before.


Rights Sold:

World English rights, Farrar Straus & Giroux; China: Beijing Xiron Books


“Amichai’s art is as appealing in its depths as in its shallows …Amichai glides quickly between his own poetic suggestions, and this supple navigation credits his inventions with the otherness of their existence: he proceeds as if his own metaphors had the naturalness of found things, not the artifice of made things…Amichai has many modes, but a faithful and fortifying humanism is his commonest and his most delightful…[H]e belongs not only to Israel and to the Hebrew language but to all of us. “ – James Wood, New Yorker

"[T]he book is impressive in its scope while allowing for direct access to the poems." – Shoshana Olidort, Chicago Tribune

“Like Czesław Miłosz—another great poet who was simultaneously national and personal—Amichai manages to become a representative man; he is an Israeli and a Jew and soldier and a lover and a father, all at once…He writes about Jerusalem with the intimacy of a disillusioned lover, a friend who remains faithful despite repeated trials and impositions; he empathizes with the very stones… He is like a juggler who manages to keep the big, dangerous, awkward chainsaws—God, Judaism, Israel, Holocaust, war, sex and love—always in the air. The miracle is not that he doesn’t get hurt—he does—but that he always goes on.” – Adam Kirsch, Tablet

"As Alter points out, and it quickly becomes clear, Amichai is accessible in translation; indeed, the work of all 15 translators is uniformly high. His work also deserves to be called universal. As is always the case with great poets, Amichai describes his own environment in his own terms, yet we find in his perceptions our world. His concerns are our concerns made clear and intelligible, and his feelings are our feelings more deeply felt . . . This is an indispensable collection, packed with unforgettable poems." – Michael Autrey, Booklist (starred review)

"[A] beautiful new collection . . . A master in his own language and now a powerful voice in English, Yehuda Amichai deserves a place amongst the best known and best loved poets of the twentieth century. Or, at the very least, a place on your bookshelf." – Tim Ellison, Ploughshares

”He is one of our great poets, a very accessible one. Once one has read his poems, one can never forget them – there can be so much life and truth in sixteen lines. Yehuda Amichai is a master.” Octavio Paz

”One is no longer so aware of the virtuosity of a dazzlingly gifted poet, but of a telling of real things he has lived and felt, in a poetry that seems the natural speech of people who speak of such things candidly, humorously, generously. This is something so rare that I, for one, return to these poems again and again, and always find myself shaken.” Ted Hughes

“Yehuda Amichai, it has been remarked with some justice, is the most widely translated Hebrew poet since King David.”Robert Alter

“[T]he shrewdest and most solid of poetic intelligences.” C.K. Williams

"Mammoth and ably assembled . . . Amichai wrote prolifically, in love and sorrow, about the land and the struggles over it. Yet it may be as a poet of embodied erotic desire that Amichai has had the widest appeal. His love poems will go on being read and studied, cherished and sent as billets-doux." – Publishers Weekly

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