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Nathan Zach is the most pious—although not submissive—of David Fogel’s disciples in modern/contemporary Hebrew/Israeli poetry. While evidently influenced by the modern Anglo-American school of poetry, as well as by poetic schools of Russian Acmeism and Italian Futurism, Zach took the aesthetic lessons acquired from the poetry of David Fogel to the extreme. Zach’s poetry is composed in colloquial, conversational language, while his topics are mundane and exceedingly unromantic. Zach opens one of his most prominent poem commences with the following: “When the sentiment extinguishes, the correct poem speaks out.” If emotion can be metaphorically compared with a bird that wishes to stretch its wings and fly as high as possible, aiming at the distant, misty azure, Zach desires to bridle that bird. To this means, he enlists irony, sharp intellectualism, cynicism and sarcasm, humor and farce, while weaving them in the fabric and texture of his “correct poem.”
In 1995, Nathan Zach won the singularly prestigious Israel Prize for poetry. After serving as professor of literature in Haifa University for many years, he is now retired and resides in Tel Aviv .
This anthology contains 165 of Nathan Zach’s poems, translated from the Hebrew by the author.