April 18: Julia Hartwig's "Yet We Desire It above All"

We offer a reading for the first seder of Passover tonight: a reflection on freedom and its mixed blessings by Julia Hartwig, born in Poland in 1921. (The poem is translated by John and Bogdana Carpenter.)

Yet We Desire It above All

Freedom does not mean happiness right away
the free world hides more traps than tyranny
mastiffs let loose from chains passions exceeding the horizon
steps entangled in the ropes of old bonds
that try to pull tight again

Freedom both for scoundrels and those
who sacrificed themselves for it
freedom for those who feel as pure as a diamond
and want to cut deeply surrendering passionately
to a new slavery—of hatred
from which the earth cracks like under dynamite
changing the course of rivers

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