Shabtai, Aharon

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SHABTAI, AHARON (1939– ), Israeli poet and translator. Shabtai was born in Tel Aviv and studied ancient Greek literature at the Hebrew University. He taught at Tel Aviv University and was well known as a translator of Greek drama into Hebrew. Shabtai published his first collection of poems, Ḥadar Morim ("Teacher's Room") in 1966. More than a dozen collections followed, among them Ha-Po'emah ha-Beitit ("The Domestic Poem," 1976), Sefer ha-Kelum ("The Book of Nothing," 1981), Begin (1986), Gerushin ("Divorce," 1990), Zivah ("Ziva," 1990) and Ḥodesh Mai ha-Nifla ("The Beautiful Month of May," 1997) and Shemesh, Shemesh ("Sun, Sun," 2005). Shabtai addresses political issues while vehemently criticizing the Israeli Occupation and the corrosion of moral values. Other poems dramatize Shabtai's personal experiences, focusing on love and sexuality while deliberately offending good taste and decorum. Two collections have appeared in French translation (1987; 1990) and two volumes were published in English: Love and Selected Poems (1997; 1999) and Selected Poems (2003).


O. Bernstein, "Al ha-Po'emah ha-Beitit," in: Siman Keriah, 7 (1977), 419–21; A. Sachs, "Meshorerei ha-Anti Metaforah: A. Shabtai ve-Harold Schimmel," in: Ha-Kongres ha-Olami le-Mada'ei ha-Yahadut, 6:3 (1977), 171–77; G. Levin, "What Different Things Link Up: Hellenism in Contemporary Hebrew Poetry," in: Prooftexts, 5:3 (1985), 221–43; A. Altaras, "Lakaḥat be-Ḥeshbon: Al Ha-Po'emah ha-Beitit," in: Akhshav, 50 (1985), 84–89; E. Mishori, "Mi-Erotikah le-Pornografiyyah," in: Akhshav, 57 (1992), 270–76; Sh. Sand-bank, "Shirah Lo Retuvah," in: Ḥadarim, 11 (1994), 162–67; Sh. Beram, "Al Aharon Shabtai ve-ha-Korpus ha-Po'emah ha-Beitit," in: Dappim le-Meḥkar be-Sifrut, 12 (2000), 155–79; Y. Mazor, "Lesalek et ha-Estetikah min ha-Salon," in: Moznyaim, 75:7 (2000), 24–27.

[Anat Feinberg]