The motif of the hero’s belated, pointless, and ultimately impossible return to his home country after a long absence is characteristic of the verses created by the Israeli poet Dan Pagis (1930-1986). The poet’s personal experience and (apparently unfulfilled) desire to return to normal life after surviving the Catastrophe constitutes the motif’s subtext. The plot of two poems analysed in the article evokes the story of Honi HaMe’agel, the legendary sage and righteous man, who slept for seventy years and upon awakening realised that the once familiar world refuses to accept him. Another two poems are written in a way that leaves the reader guessing if the returning protagonist is dead or alive and his return even possible. The article particularly discusses the technique for biblical quotations, which Pagis often uses to create an enigmatic ambiguity - a balancing act between extremes: the real and the unreal and the possible and the impossible.
- 17.00.00 LITERATURE. LITERATURE SCIENCES. ORAL FOLKLORE
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