by Hannah Pressman

Confessional Poetry

In Loosen the Fetters of Thy Tongue, Woman: The Poetry and Poetics of Yona Wallach (Hebrew Union College Press, $39.95), Zafrira Lidovsky Cohen wrestles with some of the most intricate and provocative poetry crafted in modern Hebrew. Yona Wallach (1944-1985) came of age as poetic revolutionaries of the 1950s and 1960s sought to create a more personal, informal poetry that utilized vernacular Hebrew and resonated with reality. In Cohen’s account, Wallach was both part of that trend and not, departing from it by dipping into the visions, dreams, and fantasies of her own mind. This recognition of the unconscious both as a component of the self and an inspiration for poetry resulted in ground-breaking confessional poetry.

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