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Nathan Alterman

נתן אלתרמן

Nathan Alterman (1910-1970) was born in Warsaw, Poland, and settled in Tel Aviv in 1925. He studied agronomy in France. His first poems were published in 1931. Alterman was a regular contributor of political verse to the daily Haaretz, and later to the Labor daily, Davar. A poetic spokesmen for the national struggle, many of his poems were banned by the British Mandate authorities and were passed from hand to hand by an eager public. Alterman also wrote the lyrics for several songs that became overnight hits. After 1948 social and political themes became the dominant feature in Alterman’s public verse. A member of a group of modernist poets, Alterman was a leader of Hebrew poetry’s avant-garde. A prolific lyricist, playwright and essayist, he also translated many works into Hebrew, including pieces by Shakespeare and Moliere. Alterman received the Tchernichovsky Prize twice for his translations (1946; 1967), the Ruppin Prize (1947), the Bialik Prize (1957) and the Israel Prize for Literature (1968).

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