Featured Story - Artist in Residence 2020/21 - Agi Mishol

Agi Mishol, one of Israel’s most prominent and popular poets, is the 2020/21 Artist in Residence at the IIAS.
We are delighted to share with you her recent poem, Corona in the Countryside II, which has also been translated into German and English.

Corona in the Countryside II

Now that death creeps round
and I’m peeled down
to a worn-out sweat suit,
down to lumps of cookie crumbs
and afterwards the striped toothpaste
that bursts from the tube

now that on mute
one may hear the wheat growing,
pecans pushing into their shells
and an unseen leaf that also for me
lies still upon the ground

now that they’ve told us to sit at home
I prefer to squeeze inside the "s"
of shelter-in-place,
even just inside a preposition or the two falling tears
of a single quotation mark

as someone, in his dream,
soaps me in the bath with a blue sponge
and the blossoming of citrus fruit
is the indifferent smell-track to the whole scene,
I do as Rilke said:
I let beauty and terror happen to me
without thinking it’s final.

Tr. Lisa Katz

Click here to read the full poem in Hebrew and German