Sivan, Aryeh

views updated


SIVAN, ARYEH (1929– ), Hebrew poet. Born in Tel Aviv, Sivan was a member of an elite unit in the Palmaḥ and took part in Israel's War of Independence. He studied Hebrew language and literature at the Hebrew University, worked as a high school teacher, and published his first collection of poems, Shirei Shiryon ("Poems of Armor"), in 1963. This was followed by a dozen collections, including Liḥyot be-Ereẓ Yisrael ("To Live in Ereẓ Israel," 1984), Kaf ha-Kela ("Hollow of the Sling," 1989), and Ḥozer Ḥalilah ("Recurrence," 2004). "Selected Poems 1957–1997" appeared in 2001. A member of the literary group Likrat ("Towards") in the 1950s, which sought to imbue Hebrew poetry with a refreshing poetic diction, Sivan's idiom avoids hyperbole and pathos, appealing in its directness and simplicity and yet retaining a clear melodious cadence. Many of the poems address the landscape and nature of Israel, recollect moments of childhood in the city of Tel Aviv, or contemplate the changes in the socio-political climate of Israel. Sivan wrote one novel, Adonis (1992; German translation: 1994), an enjoyable detective story, set in Tel Aviv during the Gulf War, which takes the reader back to the 1930s, depicting the political life and love affairs of the city's literati. Individual poems have been translated into diverse languages, and information about translation is available at the ithl website at


E. Cameron, "A. Sivan's Ratifications," in: Modern Hebrew Literature: 8:1–2 (1982/83), 82–86; Y. Bachur, "Teva, Ḥayyim, Historiyyah ve-Ḥidotehem: He'arot la-Poetikah shel A. Sivan," in: Moznayim, 62:4 (1988), 26–29; R. Litvin, "Eḥad ba-Shayarah," in: Moznayim, 64:5 (1990), 27–29; Y. Ben-David, "Arba'im Shanah ba-DerekhEl Ahavato," in: Ahavah mi-Mabat Sheni (1997), 159–62; R. Wichert, "Ribui Panav shel Dayar Lo Mugan," in: Iton 77, 228 (1999), 18–21; I. Ziv'oni, "Ha-Balash ha-Perati bi-Sheliḥut Sizifit," in: Iton 77, 240 (2000), 15–19; Y. Peles, Madu'a Kimat lo Shom'im al Aryeh Sivan," in: Haaretz (January 21, 2005); A. Kinstler, in: Carmel, 10 (2005), 109–13.

[Anat Feinberg (2nd ed.)]