Home  \  Authors  \  Authors  \  Raquel Chalfi  \ 

Solar Plexus: Poems 1975-1999

Raquel Chalfi

Already when her first book was published, in the mid-1970s, Raquel Chalfi’s poetry stood out for its poetic distinction and the originality of its worldview. Indeed, her poetry reflects a rich, emotive and chaotic inner world: Gazing at the outside world with wonder and curiosity, Chalfi is vulnerable and shifting, without clear boundaries and riddled with inner contradictions. She questions the intriguing similarity between self and cosmos, and the urge to merge with the world creates exciting but also perilous experiences. Fusion with the cosmic or social world is multi-faceted, and Chalfi’s attitude toward it is ambivalent. For these are experiences that threaten the “I” with loss of control and a collision that may lead to the brink of insanity.
These fears are expressed, for example, in the flora and fauna that populate Chalfi’s poetry - real, imaginary or hybrid creatures, sometimes marvels full of vitality and at others monsters. Chalfi’s witches play a similar role - these poems have aroused much interest and become very popular among readers. But her witches express ambivalent qualities: daring, power, creativity, sexual independence and a revolt against repression on the one hand, and on the other: vulnerability, resignation, victimhood, and painful crashes to the ground of reality. Thus they are both wondrous and mundane; they soar to heights, but then sink down to reality, are defeated and pay the price.

Raquel Chalfi electrifies words that are very familiar to us, and makes us see, for the first time, what we have seen many times without seeing. She's a lyrical poet, subtle and precise, whose work radiates warmth, life, and wisdom.

Author Amos Oz

Raquel Chalfi’s poetry is existentialist in the fullest sense of the word…She always aims at the great existential questions … A kaleidoscope of enormous proportions.  

Poet Rafi Veichert


Raquel Chalfi is one of the most talented and original Hebrew poets of recent decades … Her poetry has a clear influence over other poets and she has a loyal readership … Lovers of modern poetry can expect an enthralling reading experience. 

Prof. Avraham Balaban


An important poet. Chalfi’s verse contains both independence and risk. She has broken down a number of fences … Great sensitivity to the landscapes of the country, and excellent erotic poems … No one else writes like this. Chalfi doesn’t follow fashions or join camps. Her poetry is very unique and interesting
Prof. Gabriel Moked

One of the cleverest and most important poetry created here over the past generation … Chalfi has created some of the most trenchant and exciting poems about sexuality, love of children and growing old … This is very clever poetry that is intermittently reminiscent of Wislawa Szymborska – in its lucidity, its intellectuality, and in the new, “low” humanism that emerges from it. 

Prof. Ariel Hirschfeld


Title Solar Plexus: Poems 1975-1999
Author’s Last Name Chalfi
Author's First Name Raquel
Language(s) Hebrew
Publisher (Hebrew) Hakibbutz Hameuchad
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2002; ext. ed. 2005
No. Pages 449 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Mikla'at Ha-Shemesh
Representation Represented by ITHL


The second edition of the Letters of Israel festival will take place in Paris from September 8 to 18, 2017
After the success of its first edition, the Lettres d'Israël festival is gaining momentum, with an enriched program: meetings, conversations, readings , Theater, major authors and discoveries. Zeruya Shalev, Orly Castel-bloom, Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, Iris Argaman, and many more will participate. Click here for the full program:
Call for application: Artists in Residence Programme in Austria. Please note the deadline: September 18th, 2017.
In co-operation with KulturKontakt Austria, the Austrian Federal Chancellery makes available 50 residencies to visual artists / art photographers / composers / video and media artists / writers / literary translators and arts and cultural educators in Vienna and Salzburg for the year 2018. For more details:
Yizhak Mayer: "Meet the Author" Event
Ambassador Yizhak Mayer, author of the moving book “Silent Letter” will hold a “meet the author” event in Netanya. For further info about the event: And for more details about the title click here:
ITHL director on Grossman's win
"Grossman winning is not only his own achievement, but the achievement of the Hebrew literature as a whole", - Nilli Cohen on the first Hebrew author to receive Man Booker International Prize. Click here for the full article in Hebrew.
Chana Bloch dies at 77
Chana Bloch, a revered poet and translator from Hebrew and Yiddish, has sadly passed away earlier this month. Among her many remarkable achievements is the wonderful translation of a collection of poems by Dahlia Ravikovitch​ (W. W. Norton & Company). Chana will be greatly missed.
Yitzchak Mayer's personal website goes live
English edition of Yitzchak Mayer's amazing "Silent Letter" is about to come out with Mosaic Press. Learn more about the author's incredible life story on his brand new website.
Dayan on feminism and writing
Following the release of "Transitions" in English, Yael Dayan talks to Lilith Magazine about her past aspirations and present pursuits. Click here to read the full interview.
Gundar-Goshen's Op-Ed for Time
To mark the US publication of "Waking Lions" Ayelet Gundar-Goshen talks about the refugee crisis, internal walls and people behind them in the op-ed for Time. Click here to read the article.
MHL - New webzine starting soon!