Amichai, Yehuda (1924–2000) By Baroukh, Rina
Yehuda Amichai was born in Würzburg, Germany to an Orthodox Jewish family, and was raised speaking both Hebrew and German. His family migrated to Israel in 1936. He participated in World War II as part of the Jewish Brigade, and fought in the Israeli War of Independence in 1948. He studied Hebrew literature and the Bible at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Amichai started writing poetry in 1948, during the War of Independence. His poems were first published in the early 1950s. His first book of poetry, Akhshav u-ba-yamim ha-a’herim [Now and on Other Days], was published in 1955. His poetics was soon recognized for its modernistic trends, unique voice and innovative figurative language, and was considered nothing less than revolutionary. His poems were translated into more than thirty languages and received broad international recognition, with praise from poets such as Ted Hughes, Paul Celan and Octavio Paz. He won almost every literary prize available in Israel as well as many international prizes. He died in 2000, and was buried in Jerusalem.