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The Full Severity of CompassionThe Poetry of Yehuda Amichai$
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Chana Kronfeld

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780804782951

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804782951.001.0001

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“In the Narrow Between”

“In the Narrow Between”

Amichai’s Poetic System

(p.81) Two “In the Narrow Between”
The Full Severity of Compassion

Chana Kronfeld

Stanford University Press

Simplicity and accessibility are for Amichai serious ethical principles, guidelines for a poetic effect that are part of the fabric of everyday life, not just the mark of “a playful poet” writing “easy” verse who has “no worldview,” as some scholars have argued, mistaking his egalitarian imperative for a lack of philosophical gravitas. Poetic philosophy is revealed in the process to be a feature of stylistics as of thematics. Chapter Two outlines the major principles that underlie Amichai's poetic philosophy, focusing on the state of “in-between-ness” as the privileged yet endangered site of the poetic subjects-cum-ordinary human beings. This sets the stage for an array of systematic correlations between liminality as the governing feature of Amichai's poetic worldview and many of his signature rhetorical practices discussed throughout the book, such as juxtaposition, intertextuality and metaphor, which map two domains together without ignoring their distinctness.

Keywords:   Yehuda Amichai, Poetic Philosophy, Liminality, In-Between, Ordinary Language, Statehood Generation Poetry, Camouflage

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