Friday, January 29, 2010

Poetry Friday

This week marks the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. While some were lucky enough to survive the Holocaust, many more were not, and today we only have their words. The Hypertexts is a site that keeps those words alive. From unknown poets to Pope John Paul II, here is a collection of Holocaust poetry written by those who lived it.


The Little Train Station: Treblinka


On the Tluszcz-Warsaw line,
from the Warsaw-East station,
you leave by rail
and ride straight on . . .

The journey lasts, sometimes
five hours and 45 minutes,
but sometimes it lasts
a lifetime until death.

The station is tiny.
Three fir trees grow there.
The sign is ordinary:
it’s the Treblinka station.

No cashier’s window,
No porter in view,
No return tickets,
Not even for a million.

There, no one is waiting,
no one waves a kerchief,
and only silence hovers,
deaf emptiness greets you.

Silent the flagpole,
silent the fir trees,
silent the black sign:
it’s the Treblinka station.

Only an old poster
with fading letters
advises:
“Cook with gas.”

~~Wladyslaw Szlengel
(translated by Yala Korwin)

Todays Poetry Friday is at Picture Book of the Day

4 comments:

Diane said...

Wow. This poem is powerfully moving.

I'm Jet . . . said...

I can't even imagine . . . but this poem brings me closer to what it must have been like.

Andy said...

There are certain things that must never be forgotten. Thanks for the gut-wrenching reminder.

Mur said...

I can't imagine being a child and experiencing that much fear. Thanks, Barb!