Customer Review

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Embarassment, May 22, 2005
This review is from: Songs from Bialik: Selected Poems of Hayim Nahman Bialik (Judaic Traditions in Literature, Music, and Art) (Paperback)
Bialik was a great poet.

Don't let Atar's biased view of him take over. Bialik had, indeed, many earthly and vulgar sides. But that is a very partial picture of the man. He was a great scholar of Jewish studies, and the language of his poetry hints often to Biblical, Talmudic and other Jewish texts. Actually, one of his life-long endeavours was the collection of Midrashim (Haggadic expositions) from all Hebrew literature.

Atar states (after giving himself 5 stars...), that previous translations regarded his poetry as "rather more holy than anyone might healthily be in life and more so than might be healthy for keeping their verse alive after their death.". True perhaps, but Hadari's credo seems to be: make it shallow, flat and linguistically simplistic (not to say artistically dull) so that a beer-holding, MTV watching dude could appreciate it.

In many senses, the book title is correct. Hadari seems to be creating songs, not poems, from (in the sense of having some vague relations to) Bialik.

To all those interested in Bialik's poetry, I urge you to compare the translation of one favourite poem with another translation.
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4.0 out of 5 stars (4 customer reviews)
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