Hebrew poetry

Sometimes I'm a poet so I was wondering how poetry goes in Hebrew.

Does it rhyme, have rhythm etc.. Or is it a rhyming of thoughts?

January 22, 2018


I actually have a wonderful bilingual book of Hebrew poetry... but I have no idea where it is.

I can tell you that in Biblical Hebrew poetry, the trend is often to repeat the same thought in different words. You will notice this looking at almost any reasonable translation of the Psalms. For example, psalm 24 v 1-2:

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, - statement
the world, and all who live in it; - same thing, different words
for he founded it on the seas - statement
and established it on the waters. - same thing, different words

I believe this is called... parallelism? Or something like that? I also know that some of the psalms or other poetic books have a degree of wordplay such as acrostics.

Whether this holds true in Modern Hebrew poetry, I'm afraid I couldn't tell you. But maybe it gives you some avenues of enquiry to start with?

January 22, 2018

So like "The Bible is a beautiful book. It's pages are full of gems." would be considered parallelism in Hebrew?

January 23, 2018

Maybe not that case- but you can say it is full of "פניני חוכמה" which means in English "wisdom pearls".

January 23, 2018

Ok. Thanks for the input. I will have to learn!

January 24, 2018

Modern Hebrew poetry is very diverse. Nevertheless, Yehuda Amichai, considered one of Israels foremost modern poets. Youtube also has some nice examples ranging from biblical psalms to poetry slams.

January 22, 2018

For modern poetry a good site to start is

It's a website that has lots of poems in different languages + translations right next to it + an audio recording of the poem (super useful for language learners and poetry lovers in general).

Not all of the Hebrew poems have English translations but many do. The translation isn't aimed at language learners, so it's not 100% always accurate. :)

January 26, 2018

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