This essay critically examines how Dahlia Ravikovitch's poem "Hakarpodim" engages with and disputes the foundational tropes of modern Hebrew poetry. In the poem, Ravikovitch takes aim at the literary conventions that obscure the social dimensions of the poetic and help maintain literary historical narratives that marginalize women. Ravikovitch's conceit of a lily surrounded by bullfrogs is an allusion to Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik's canonical nineteenth-century Hebrew poem "Habrekha" [The Pond] and Emily Dickinson's nineteenth-century American poem "I'm Nobody." Ravikovitch's poem pushes us to examine how the poetics of Bialik's Hebrew Romanticism, with its emphasis on the poet as prophet and the natural world as a divinely inspired female muse, are premised on a sexual politics that privileges male desire and restricts poetry to the domain of men. By challenging Bialik's romantic poetics, and through allusion to Dickinson and Leah Goldberg, Ravikovitch offers an alternative post-romantic Hebrew poetics, one that consistently draws attention to the social context of the poetic, and to the social position of women in the field of Hebrew poetry.


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pp. 310-334
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