Shirley Kaufman utilizes enigmatic symbolism from the Book of Ezekiel as she writes into the themes of exile and emigration that have marked her work since she left the United States for Israel thirty-six years ago. Her new poems attempt to bring meaning to the unrelenting passage of human life, the risks of artistic endeavors, and her own struggle with the loss of sight and memory. Through four decades of writing and publishing, Kaufman maintained a lightness of touch even while her poetry took on an increased awareness of danger and urgency.
“Like Redon [the book’s cover’s artist], expressing the terrors of fever-ridden dreams a century or more ago, Kaufman explores the internal feelings of her physical and mental decline with startling and brave honesty. Like Redon, Kaufman is representing the ghosts of her own mind.” —Rattle
“Progressive, passionate, and unfailingly feminist, Kaufman is a breathtakingly fine poet.” —The Nation
“Kaufman approaches Jerusalem’s bitter memories, contested histories and joyous unfoldings with a wary love.” —Publishers Weekly