Spirit Captive is the title of Helen Bar-Lev's latest book and its culminating poem. It reveals her love affair with Jerusalem and captures the essence of her long, romantic journey to, in, and around the city. Through prose and poetry, she shares her fascination with its environment: the pinks of its stones, the greens of its trees, and the variety of its people. She describes her life as a painter and poet, introducing us to the places she loves, the people she cherishes, and the moments that terrify her.
Her artwork adds immeasurably to the whole work, adding an important dimension to the overall composition by giving resonance to Helen's work and identity as a visual artist; her art concretizes visually the words she is writing. Spirit Captive is both personal and yet also universal. She has done much to redeem Jerusalem's splendor, magic, mystery and
complexity. The mystical city lives in her words, her pictures and her memories. Her words and her artwork link her attraction to the Holy City with her fear of its perils.
She captures our spirits, too, with her images, poetry, and prose.