The Blessings of Metonymy

WHAT MAKES POETS great to begin with is a living presence we feel in their words, the way we can “read” the body and the voice of the poet. That is why it is so hard to believe it is now fifteen years since the death of Israel’s greatest poet, Yehuda Amichai. His adopted Hebrew name Amichai—he was born in Germany in 1924 as Ludwig Pfeuffer—which means “my people live.” This name he made for himself also became prophetic because through his poetry his people surely live.

“Fighting in the Captain’s Tower”: In Defense of Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize

Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize in Literature for songwriting. He is a poet, but his medium is not the page. So yes his lines read different when you take away the music. But by reintroducing poetry to an existing popular musical genre, Dylan opened up possibilities for all poets. What Dylan understood very early is that in an electric age, poetry cannot survive without song.