It is as we all are intoxicated with the fragrance of Shefali-...

It is as we all are intoxicated with the fragrance of Shefali- on the poetry of Gili Haimovich


It is as we all are intoxicated with the fragrance of Shefali

Promised Lands is another window for me toward contemporary Israeli literature although I was so long ago accustom to reading Moshe Maimonides, Solomon Ibn Gabriol, Yuda Ha Levi, Bahia Ibn Paquda, Gerschom Scholem, the wisdom of Abraham Joshua Herschel, an exquisite and intelligent humor of Ephraim Kishon and later the studies of Sara Sviri and Gideon Bohak, and all what Jewish genius produced in tribute and insight of the Spiritual realm, now to me, the quantum understanding of a relative reality of existence. The readings were in Serbian, Croatian, English since nothing I had find to read in Albanian language which is my mother tongue.

I had previous vision on Jewish wisdom in the 90-s, being regular in reading Mezuzah, the literary magazine established by Serbian author of Jewish origin, David Albahari who made this culture very familiar to me. In particular I was so obsessed with the great Moshe Maimonides who has a special place in my book “The Invisible Plurality”, written back in 90-ies and this triggered me, when I paid the visit to Cairo, in searching the Maimonides tomb in Downtown Cairo. From then on, nothing Jewish is alien to me and this is the sole reason although I cannot read and write Hebrew I undertook to read the book of Gili Haimovich in particular confirming my attitude of, as she says in her book, How lucky we are to be colonized into English…


Gili Haimovich has artistically crafted so serene and fragrant book to us careful readers, a fragrant one, which smells on Shefali, and it all intertwines with the reality we had so distant till now. Yet in her poem “Colonized”, she beautifully claims:

How lucky we are to be colonized into English,

to have found each other there.

Is it a message disguised as a poem

or a poem fused into message?

I am counting on your drunkenness

So thanks to English language regardless of which orgin we are and from which geographical point we come from we can rejoice the remarkable reading of a very genuine poetry that bursts its originality exactly on time like a ripen pomegranate.

In Though She’s Titled Hong Kong stand the verses that are prodigally observant and sparkling the truth of existence one may hardly find nowadays in contemporary literature. This connectedness with time and space and practically the coherence in all that, makes you rejoice every word she writes and displays in her book as reflection from her inner impulse of creativity.  

The butterfly wings point

to the passing moment on the clock,

marking which moment belongs

to which leaf shade.

 This book communicates globally giving more than a single book of poems may offer. There is her origin and cultural/ spiritual heritage, her place and everyday life, her travels to distant lands and rich geography, her travels to her inner world and all that is so craftily and beautifully intertwined like peptides on the human DNA.

I do strongly hope that this book one day will find the way and speak in Albanian language for all those Albanians in Kosovo, Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, and Macedonia who do not read in Hebrew or English.

Fahredin Shehu

Prishtina, Kosovo

February the 6th 2021