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Chaim Gouri
(Mandatory Palestine, 1923–2018)   
Chaim  Gouri

Chaim Gouri – poet, writer, journalist and documentary filmmaker – was born in Tel Aviv in 1923.

Gouri joined the Palmach, the strike force of the Hagana, the Jewish underground military organization, in 1941 and later served with the Israeli Defence Forces until his release from the army in 1949. Gouri was active in the struggle against British mandatory rule (1945-1947). In the summer of 1947 he worked as a representative of the Palmach and the Hagana among Jewish Holocaust survivors in Hungary and Czechoslovakia. This fateful encounter is a strong presence in all his writings. Gouri fought in the battle for Jerusalem in 1967 and served as Education Officer in Sinai during the Yom Kippur War (1973). From 1950-52, he studied Hebrew literature, philosophy and French culture at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. After a year at the Sorbonne, he returned to Israel in 1954, for many years working as a journalist as well as writing literary works. The influence of Nathan Alterman is apparent in his first poems, the volume Flowers of Fire published in 1949, in which the collective experience of war and death, of the Palmach fighters, is turned into an individual's experience. However, his later poetry moved toward abstraction. To this day Gouri has published fourteen books of poetry and twelve short novels, and a recent anthology drawing from all his works, I am a Civil War . Winner of the Israel Prize in 1988, Gouri has also been awarded the Bialik Prize (1975) and the Uri Zvi Greenberg Prize (1998). His complete works of poetry were published in 1998 in two volumes, and a new collection appeared in 2002.

© Rami Saari (Translated by Lisa Katz)


In Hebrew
Ani milxemet ′ezraxim(I am a Civil War), Ha-kibbutz Ha-meuchad & Bialik Institute, 2004
Me'uxarim (Late Ones), Ha-kibbutz Ha-meuchad, 2002
Ha-shirim (The Poems), Bialik Institute, 1998
Millim be-dammi xole ha-'ahava (Words in My Love-Sick Blood/bilingual edition), Wayne State University Press, 1996
Ha-ba 'axaray (The One Who Came After Me), Ha-kibbutz Ha-meuchad, 1994
Xeshbon ‛over (Current Account), Ha-kibbutz Ha-meuchad, 1988
Maxbarot 'Elul (Summer's End), Ha-kibbutz Ha-meuchad, 1985
Ayuma (Fearsome), Ha-kibbutz Ha-meuchad, 1979
‛Ad qav ha-nesher (Till the Eagle Line), Ha-kibbutz Ha-meuchad, 1975
Mar'ot Gixazi (Gehazi Visions), Ha-kibbutz Ha-meuchad, 1974
Tnu‛a le-magga‛ (Movement to Touch), Ha-kibbutz Ha-meuchad, 1968
Shoshanat ruxot (Windrose), Ha-kibbutz Ha-meuchad, 1960
Shirey xotam (Poems of the Seal), Ha-kibbutz Ha-meuchad, 1954
‛Ad ‛alot ha-shaxar (Till Dawn), Ha-kibbutz Ha-meuchad, 1950
Pirxey 'esh (Flowers of Fire), Ha-kibbutz Ha-meuchad ,1949

In English
Words in My Lovesick Blood Detroit, Wayne State Univ. Press, 1996

Flores de fuego, años de fuego Granada, Universidad de Granada, 1990

In Russian
Flowers of Fire, Jerusalem, Aliya, 1992

Individual poems by Chaim Gouri have been published in Afrikaans, Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese and Yiddish.

In English
Gouri on the relations between Hebrew and Russian poetry
Wayne State University Press
The Modern Hebrew Poem Itself: in-depth analyses of poems by Gouri and other Hebrew poets

In Hebrew
an article in which Gouri tells about the main events that influenced his life
one of Gouri's poems ('Night Diary')
one of Gouri's poems ('King')

In Spanish
a poem by Gouri translated into Spanish ('La Resistencia')
information concerning Gouri's book published in Spanish
Yahoo Spanish Grupo on Poetry
a poem by Gouri ('Buenos vecinos') translated into Spanish by Eliahu Toker
WIZO Magshimon
New Tendencies in Israeli Literature, an article with a reference to Chaim Gouri


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