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Pretty much the only poem I have that is appropriate for Holocaust Memorial Day.

(Artwork: "Rabbi Loew and the Golem", from "The Prague Golem: Jewish Stories from the Ghetto", ed. Harald Salfellner, Vitalis, 2016. The artist is uncredited)



(Prague, 1939)


For centuries I’ve lain here undisturbed,
this synagogue’s hushed attic my bedchamber,
the life-spark in me stilled, sleep unperturbed.
Outside, folks chatter, kiss, curse. Few remember
how the Rabbis raised me up from fire and clay,
armoured in skin of thick Vltava mud,
stood sentry at the gates to bar the way
when fanatics stormed the city, screamed for blood.

Slanders have passed. A victim people thrive,
their guardian a fable or a phantom.
They think they do not need me to survive;
yet shadows gather once again to haunt them:
the crash of glass, the jack-boot at the door;
Chelmno, Treblinka, Terezin, Sobibor.

poetryJewish folkloreHolocaustmemorial

◄ Dealing with the Dead


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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Wed 29th Jan 2020 16:13

IMO, brlliant, in topic and presentation.

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