Raquel Chalfi. Solar Plexus: Poems 1975-1999

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

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