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“Inside the Apple” by Yehuda Amichai

April 12, 2011 1 comment

“You visit me inside the apple.
Together we can hear the knife
paring around and around us, carefully,
so the peel won’t tear.

You speak to me. I trust your voice
because it has lumps of hard pain in it
the way real honey
has lumps of wax from the honeycomb.

I touch your lips with my fingers:
that too is a prophetic gesture.
And your lips are red, the way a burnt field
is black.
It’s all true.

You visit me inside the apple
and you’ll stay with me inside the apple
until the knife finishes its work.”

……………………………

Yehuda Amichai’s “Inside the Apple” wrestles with a subtle tension at the heart of the human experience, between the meaning of human relationship and the inevitability of death. What has impressed itself upon me most deeply about this poem is it’s expression of the firm resolution of the human spirit to enter into true relationship, to make itself vulnerable to loss in light of life’s fragile finitude. In this way, where even many poets have caved-in to a self-protective cynicism, this poem is an affirmation of the importance of being human with other humans in spite of our ineluctable end. Amichai combines rustic imagery with  from the Hebraic religion to offer us a portrait of what it means to be human, in a way that is distinctly existential and theological. Read more…