Wings

by Amir Or, translated by Seth Michelson

“With its astonishing mixture of philosophy, lyric verse, and longing for the hieratic, Amir Or’s poetry resembles little else being written anywhere in the world today. By turns proverbial and personal, Wings is testimony to deep experience, and even deeper thought. It is also vividly beautiful, and dense with image and insight. This sequence affords a glimpse of what poetry can achieve when we ask it to contain the world, and it speaks across the gap between Anglophone and other poetries, as between countries and eras. A bittersweet, indispensable vade mecum.

—Fiona Sampson, author of In Search of Mary Shelley

“Reading Wings in Seth Michelson’s excellent translation is much like Amir Or himself reading his own reflection, or as he says like reading ‘my soul reaching for his airy existence.’ They indeed do take flight taking us to a world that must have been living beside this one, unknown, unexplored, and marvelously revealed in these poems. These are poems, from one of the world’s great poets, that arrive, fly in as it were, like breath itself, and ironically leave us breathless. ‘Here my treasure is made’ he says in another poem, and indeed he has, for this is a book I must carry with me from now on.”

—Richard Jackson, author of Unauthorized Autobiography: New and Selected Poems