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SCREAMING WORDS INTO THE WHITE: THE POETICS OF FRAGMENTATION IN LEAH GOLDBERG'S END-OF-LIFE POETRY

Yoseph Milman
Hebrew Studies
Vol. 45 (2004), pp. 79-97
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27913696
Page Count: 19
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
SCREAMING WORDS INTO THE WHITE: THE POETICS OF FRAGMENTATION IN LEAH GOLDBERG'S END-OF-LIFE POETRY
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Abstract

In the poems left by Leah Goldberg published posthumously in the collection "Sheʾerit Hahaim", there are a number of "death-poems" that give expression to some kind of "death experience." A study of these poems reveals a radical change in relation to death and its poetic expression that took place in the poet's later work. From a thematic point of view, the elevated view of death that sees it as an integral part of the eternal cycle of life is replaced by a view that sees it as pointless and lacking all glory. It presents death as a state of diminishment until complete meaningless extinction. From the aesthetic point of view, the densely figurative, well-wrought, high poetic language gives way to spare statement and presents ``poetic fragments'' that are disjointed, incomplete, and border on silence. This paper intends to examine the nature and significance of this profound change in the poetry of Leah Goldberg and to enquire into the connection between it and the modernistic worldview and poetics that Leah Goldberg apparently began to feel close to in the twilight of her life.

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