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Yehuda Amichai (1924-2000) is a writer with an international reputation. He was born in Germany and emigrated with his parents to Palestine in 1936. Best known for his poetry, he is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Israel Prize, his country’s highest honor. Open Closed Open was published in Israel in the original Hebrew in 1998.

Open Closed Open

Harcourt
2001 Shortlist
United States

Judges’ Citation

These last poems by the greatest Israeli poet of the modern era are marked by the humanity and humor, which have always characterized his work.

These last poems by the greatest Israeli poet of the modern era are marked by the humanity and humor, which have always characterized his work. Here they seem even more depth-charged, as when he writes, ‘When you go out for a night patrol, fill your canteen to the top/so the water won’t make a sloshing sound and give you away./That’s how your soul ought to be in your body, large and full and silent.’ The challenge of rendering the range of his tone has been met with extraordinary amplitude and aplomb by Chana Bloch and Chana Kronfeld.