The Penguin Book of Hebrew Verse
This stunning anthology gathers together the riches of poetry in Hebrew from 'The Song of Deborah' to contemporary Israeli writings. Verse written up to the tenth century show the development of piyut, or liturgical poetry, and retell episodes from the Bible and exalt the glory of God. Medieval works introduce secular ideas in love poems, wine songs and rhymed narratives, as well as devotional verse for specific religious rituals. Themes such as the longing for the homeland run through the ages, especially in verse written after the rise of the Zionist movement, while poems of the last century marry Biblical references with the horrors of the Holocaust. Together these works create a moving portrait of a rich and varied culture through the last 3,000 years.