A Complex Network of Pipes 

The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai

edited by Robert Alter

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 576 pp., $18



While browsing in Yehuda Amichai’s collected Hebrew verse in preparation for writing this review, I came across a poem, previously unknown to me, that stirred a pang of memory. Since it isn’t one of the hundreds of poems included in The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai by its editor Robert Alter, I’ll translate it here:


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About the Author

Hillel Halkin’s most recent book is After One-Hundred-and-Twenty: Reflections on Death, Mourning, and the Afterlife in the Jewish Tradition (Princeton University Press).


gershonhepner on January 23, 2018 at 9:54 pm

Saying God is altogether obsolete,
as once poetically Yehuda Amichai declared,
isn't very controversial, the conceit
today is by a large majority of people shared,
including those whose faith was formerly Mosaic,
Jews now completely stereotypical in this stampede.
I'm not, for although I would say that He's archaic,
God still succeeds in satisfying a most basic need,
to be connected with the past, and to the laws
that in the past connected Jews to Him, “Only connect'”
a mantra that's not obsolete, His major cause,
which, though it seems somewhat archaic, we must still respect.

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