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September 22, 1989 - Image 25

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-09-22

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Glenn Triest

revenge on the Germans who
destroyed his hometown. Another
story, which retells the life of Jonah,
was staged at Israel's Habimah
Unlike his fellow Israeli writers
A.B. Yehoshua and Amos Oz,
Amichai does not take an overt po-
litical stand in his works. There are
no cries to retain the West Bank and
Gaza, or no demands that Israel
must come to terms with the
Palestinians. Instead, Amichai says,
he opts for politics "in a deep sense --
in my expressions of love for peace
and for my country and for my peo-
ple. I don't make narrow declara-
Amichai, who does all of his
writing in long hand, taught for 15
years in public schools and at col-
leges. "But it's not like here," he
says. "Teachers in (public schools) in
Israel have to teach everything."
While working with small children
in the 1950s, Amichai even taught
All of these life adventures are
contained somewhere in his poems

Sarah Hartman

naturally when to take off the soup."
Amichai is his own editor and
critic. He never gives family
members his work for consideration
because "if you show your poems to
people you love it always ends up the
same. Either they say it's good and
you think, 'You're just saying that
because you love me.' Or they say
something negative and you think,
`You don't like it? Then go to hell."'
Even his publishers are asked to
keep their opinions to themselves,
Amichai says. The publisher
wouldn't dare call and say; "Hurry
up and get your next book done,"
Amichai says. "I wouldn't let him."
Amichai says his children read his
works once they're published. "I re-
member when they first started to
read them. They thought it was very
funny to read about Daddy's love af-
Amichai, who will have a new
book published in the next several
months, also has published novels
and short stories. His novel Not of
This Time, Not of This Place tells
the story of an Israeli who wants

Yehuda Amichai:
Poetry influenced
by war, religion and



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