Poetry Friday: Poem Without End

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For the past week or so, I’ve been gathering ideas for Carol Varsalona’s “Finding Fall” poetry project. I’ve gone for walks, taken photos, and gathered many ideas. Early in the week, an idea had taken hold, and I started jotting some words and phrases, but that’s as far as I went. Then, a day or two ago, a poet whose work I love and admire posted a poem on the same topic. Sigh. How could I write a poem about this subject now? Any poem I wrote wouldn’t be nearly as good or clever as hers.

Fast forward to Poetry Friday. As I was searching The Poetry Foundation website, I found this article by Jessica Greenbaum. In it, she wonders if there is room for new poems on old subjects. In essence, Greenbaum decides how can we not write our new poems? She goes on to share several poems she feels “cover all the territory of my particular sense of the human condition.” I was struck by this one in particular, by Yehuda Aichai and translated by Chana Bloch.

“Poem Without End”

Inside the brand-new museum

there’s an old synagogue.

Inside the synagogue

is me.

Inside me

my heart.

Read the rest of the poem here.

We have to, no, we must create our own response to our experiences. How can ideas not be transformed into something new and unique during their journey through our hearts?

Studiolo from the Ducal Palace in Gubbio Designed by Francesco di Giorgio Martini (Italian, Siena 1439–1501 Siena), Metropolitan Museum of Art
Studiolo from the Ducal Palace in Gubbio
Designed by Francesco di Giorgio Martini (Italian, Siena 1439–1501 Siena), Metropolitan Museum of Art. Aichai’s poem brought this beautiful room, one of my favorite installations at the Met, to mind.

Be sure to visit Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect for the Poetry Friday Round Up.