“I Want a River / No Small Temple”: Poetics and Theology in the Later Poetry of Yona Wallach

Tafat Hacohen-Bick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article seeks to rectify two omissions with regard to the poetry of Yona Wallach—the discussion of her later poetry in particular and the discussion of theology in her poems in general—by reading these two aspects side by side. I argue that the most significant change between Wallach’s early and later poetry involves a prosodic turn. While the early poems are short and many of them portray surrealistic figures and colorful images, the later poems are characterized either by extreme directness, or by their length. In terms of theology, although there are extensive discussions of mysticism in Wallach’s poetry, they often contribute to the building of an “author’s name” rather than a specific understanding of her poetry and its poetics. Consequently, I propose a comprehensive look at her later poetry and discuss how form and content are integrated in these works. I will also examine how the approach of this central poet in Israeli culture to questions of secularization and religiosity illuminates the processes of secularization versus increased religiosity in Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-178
Number of pages40
JournalProoftexts - Journal of Jewish Literature History
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Religious studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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