Israeli Documentary Poetry about Coming of Age in the Early Statehood Period

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This article introduces the genre of documentary poetry written by Israeli poets who came of age during the first two decades of the state (1950s-1960s) and who recount their experiences of that period. These poets were either immigrant children or native Israelis born to immigrants who had arrived in the new country from the four corners of the earth. The generic context of Israeli documentary poetry is the inclusive genre of documentary literature, referring to non-fictional writing whose authors or heroes wish to recount their experiences of major events that engulfed, affected and changed the lives of many. In the present article I present and analyze six poems written, respectively, by poets Malka Natanson, Lea Aini, Bracha Rosenfeld, Amira Hass, Peretz-Dror Banai and Vicki Shiran. These poems are organized into three pairs dealing with these themes: memories of the Holocaust as preserved and reshaped by two daughters of survivors; the life of displacement in Israeli maabarot or transit camps; and the contrast between diaspora life and life within multicultural Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
JournalCLCWeb - Comparative Literature and Culture
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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