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