September 22, 2000
Yehuda Amichai, the Poet Laureate of Jerusalem, passes away at the age of 76 from lymphoma. Considered by many to be the most prominent modern-day Israeli poet, Amichai received awards and critical acclaim all over the world, with his poetry having been translated into over 40 languages. Born in Germany, Amichai moved with his family to Israel in 1935. He served for the British during World War II and in the Palmach, the special strike force of the Haganah, during the 1948 War of Independence. He later served in the IDF.
Themes of war, peace and loss were prevalent in Amichai’s poetry. Among his most famous works are “Exile at Home;” “Not of This Time, Not of this Place;” “The World is a Room and Other Stories” and “Great Tranquility: Questions and Answers.”
In 1994, Yitzhak Rabin quoted from his poem, “God Takes Pity on Kindergartners” as part of his Nobel Prize acceptance speech.
The photo shows President Moshe Katsav laying a wreath on Amichai’s casket in Jerusalem on September 24, 2000
Read Yehuda Amichai’s biography found at the Poetry Foundation.
Listen to Yehuda Amichai interviewed by NPR’s Henry Lyman in 1989