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Agi Mishol

Poetrry, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2020

In her latest collection “Earth for Me is Sky” Agi Mishol gives herself over to time, to days of isolation and the comfort she finds in nature. The poet recognizes herself in the hills, the trees, the raven by her window, even in tv, where she imagines the reporters commenting on her own perhaps lonely life: “love isn’t architecture/but weather.” 


The poet falls in love and longing with imagination itself, the ladder that connects earth with sky, reminding us that even in days where travel is seemingly impossible “you should think deep/not distant.” For Mishol, days of quietude open “the locked gate of childhood,” where she finds the girl who yearns for touch and flight, thistles, snapdragons and mint candies. A girl who “herds sheep in the sky,” and becomes the woman who stretches “toward one love and another.” Here is a poet who blends modern technology and the timelessness of ecology, who shows us how “on mute” it is still possible to hear “the wheat growing,/the pecans pushing out of their shells.” Mishol shows us how in times of disconnectedness, our homes become the landscape, and the fields become our home.   

Rights Sold to:

Germany: Hanser Verlag; Israel: Hakibbutz Hameuchad

Praise for Agi Mishol:

 “Agi Mishol is a sly, subversive, empathic Israeli poet…Her poems are quiet and deceptive, informal, crisp and clear. She is drawn to the enduring subjects of poetry, especially the alluring beauty of the natural world, and would speak in the language of wildflowers and trees, if she could. As a farmer, she often records the fauna and flora of the countryside and writes about daily life in a small Mediterranean country…There is a magic alchemy in many of Mishol’s poems. She courts the irrational and delves deep into the body. She turns away from the horrors of history, the cruelties we inflict upon each other, and seeks consolation in what Virginia Woolf called “Moments of Being,” which are luminous moments, instances out of time.”  - Edward Hirsh, author of Gabriel, judge for the 2019 Zbigniew Herbert International Literary Award


“…[Mishols writes] with a sly delicacy reminiscent of the Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska’s best work…It is no surprise that…Mishol assumes the persona of Scheherazade, another gifted storyteller who survives by her imagination.” - The New York Times Book Review


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