“As Janis Joplin sang, her voice throbbing with both joy and sadness, ‘Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.’ Freedom is not just permission to do whatever we want. If it’s worth anything, it also comes with responsibilities, obligations, its own sets of rules. Yehuda Amichai’s “Poem Without an End,” translated here from the Hebrew by Chana Bloch, reenacts the endless spiral of movement between the outer and inner worlds. This is the kind of spiritual and artistic freedom we want to have and celebrate. But we have to be alert—how easy it would be for it to turn into a kind of prison.”
—Lloyd Schwartz

Poem Without an End
By Yehuda Amichai
Translated by Chana Bloch

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Inside the brand-new museum
there’s an old synagogue.
Inside the synagogue
is me.
Inside me
my heart.
Inside my heart
a museum.
Inside the museum
a synagogue,
inside it
me,
inside me
my heart,
inside my heart
a museum

Throughout April, look for the poem on the MBTA’s Green and Red Lines. Take a picture or a selfie with it and post to #JArtsLIberty; share your own thoughts on freedom, or share your own poem/artwork on freedom at poetry@jartsboston.org.

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