The paper discusses the controversy over Avot Yeshurun's hermetic and enigmatic poem 'Pessach 'al Kukhim' which was published in the literary supplement of Ha'aretz on 25 May 1952. The poem was analyzed three weeks later in that same supplement by Aharon Amir of the 'Canaanite' group. The two pieces evoked several counter-reactions, attesting that the poem and its interpretation touched upon a sensitive area in the Israeli public opinion. The poem concerns — from Yeshurun's unique point of view — the Arab refugee problem and the historic struggle between Jews and Arabs over the land. The counter-reactions emerged from the right-wing public as well as from the very heart of the political and cultural establishment. They were blunt, sarcastic and occasionally parodic. Four months after the publication of Yeshurun's poem he published another poem, 'Ruach ba'arbe' (A Wind in the Locust), in which he assails those who attacked him. This poem too did not go unanswered. The controversy about Yeshurun's poem can be described as a triple crossroads polemic. First, it was perceived by the right-wing public as challenging their extremist positions concerning the outcome of the 1948 war. Next, it was comprehended by the political establishment as voicing unacceptable oppositional stands. The third standpoint expressed in the counter-reactions evinces a literary argument about modernism. Yeshurun's poem is 'accused' of being a threat to coherent and 'constructive' writing. Our conclusion is that this poem was a milestone on the way to the modernist 'revolution' in Hebrew literature of the late 1950s. Yeshurun's own contribution to that revolution has not yet been fully recognized
|Translated title of the contribution
|At a Triple Crossroads: The Polemic on Avot Yeshurun's Poem 'Pessach 'al Kukhim'
|דפים למחקר בספרות
|Published - 1995