Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Feminist Hebrew Poetry

The Defiant Muse: Hebrew Feminist Poems from Antiquity to the Present, offers just what the title declares. A collection of poems, from the early period of Hebrew to modern times that have some sort of female viewpoint.

This is an anthology, so there is no consistent view of what "feminism" is, nor is there any attempt at a thematic focal point. Rather, the reader weaves his or her way through many voices, finding surprises here and there, and a great range of expression. Except for the fact that these are female voices speaking, we could almost drop the feminist label. If there was not a dominant, male voice in Hebrew poetics, this fine collection could easily be called Hebrew Humanist Poems from Antiquity to the Present.

This is a bi-lingual edition, so the reader with some Hebrew can also take a crack at the originals, and compare them to the final translations.  The rich nuances of the original are here to compare and contrast.

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