The Flowering of Silence: The Poetry of Avraham Ben-Yitzhak

The Flowering of Silence cover photo
Author (Faculty Member): 

The appearance of Avraham Ben-Yitzhak Sonne (1883-1950) is an enigma in Hebrew poetry. Despite publishing only12 poems before retiring from poetry altogether, he stands as one of the pinnacles of Hebrew poetry and one of the great innovators and most influential in modern Hebrew poetry from the time of “The Bialik Generation” to contemporary poets. His personality, and the aura attached to it, enhanced the magic and the mystery surrounding him.

Ben Yitzhak’s historic importance in heralding modernism in Hebrew poetry shines against the background of the tradition of central Europe’s Hebrew literature and modernism. Reading his poems in this context, studying their versions and exploring the circumstances in which they were written using archival materials, sheds light on the treasure hidden in the poet’s personal creative laboratory. Contrary to the common impression that Ben-Yitzhak’s poems are only the primal work of a young man never reaching maturity, this book brings to light the universe of a powerful poet, who took upon himself at the very beginning of his writing literary projects befitting a mature writer. Instead of regarding Ben-Yitzhak as a budding flower withering young, this book shows us a model of development more fitting a severed mature tree.

Hakibbutz Ha-Meuhad, Heb.
Publication Date: 
January 1, 1993