The light of Israeli women poets – Candle #7 – Agi Mishol

December 24, 2014 by

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agi misholAgi Mishol was born in Hungary in 1947 to holocaust survivor parents, and arrived in Israel as a baby. Today she lives in a Moshav, married to a farmer, and her poetry is full of the pastoral landscape in which she lives, of her experiences as a part-foreigner in Israel. I chose the poem “Shahida – Woman Martyr” for its politics. Since when does anyone write a poem about suicide bombings?

                                 “The afternoon darkens,3291_poem_mishol_shahida
and you are only twenty.”
Nathan Alterman
                                 Afternoon in the Market

You are only twenty
and your first pregnancy is an exploding bomb.
Under your broad skirt you are pregnant with dynamite
and metal shavings.  This is how you walk in the market,
ticking among the people, you, Andaleeb Takatkah.

Someone changed the workings in your head
and launched you toward the city;
even though you come from Bethlehem,
the Home of Bread, you chose a bakery.
And there you pulled the trigger inside yourself,
and together with the Sabbath loaves,
sesame and poppy seed,
you flung yourself into the sky.

Together with Rebecca Fink you flew up
with Yelena Konreeb from the Caucasus
and Nissim Cohen from Afghanistan
and Suhila Houshy from Iran
and two Chinese you swept along
to death.

Since then, other matters
have obscured your story,
about which I speak all the time
without having anything to say.

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