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World War 2 poetry

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by MichaelBully, Nov 9, 2016.

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  1. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    They just made a copy for their own purposes.
    It's 36 huge volumes in total, there are no Eglish translations except a single volume, translated and sold in Poland only btw.
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Sounds like a bit more than that to me. In any case not "stolen valor".
     
  3. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

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    Have managed to include a poem on the Worldwar2poetry.blogspot.com from the lost Holocaust diary of Renia Spiegel , a Polish Jew who was discovered in hiding and shot by Germans in 1942 shortly after her eighteenth birthday.

    There is already a thread here about Renia Spiegel

    http://ww2f.com/threads/the-long-lost-holocaust-diary-of-renia-spiegel.72908/#post-840555

    I will aim to do one more blogpost about Holocaust related poetry then would like to try locating World War 2 poetry from a country that haven't featured before.
    Was thinking of Czech, Greek, French ,Dutch, Belgian Danish or Norwegian poets but any other ideas would be welcome.
    'Second World War Poems ' chosen by Hugh Haughton from 2004, is the most international anthology that I have found so far.
     
  4. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

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  5. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

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    The second blog post about Lidice will feature an extract from the poem 'The Dead Village' by Viktor Fischil ( 1912- 2006) which was published in London in 1943 by an organisation titled ' Young Czechoslovakia ,
    Viktor Fischil was born in Hradec Kralove in Bohemia , and led the Jewish Party in 1930's, becoming an MP in the Czechoslovak parliament. He was also a published author and poet, fleeing to London in 1939. After working with the Czech government in exile,Viktor Fischil later settled in Israel in 1948, taking the name Avigdor Dagan in 1955.
    Have been drawing on the entry for 'Avigdor Dagan' from the Jewish Virtual Library .
    Dagan, Avigdor
     
  6. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

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    Have published more of my thoughts on British poet Sidney Keyes who died serving in Tunisia in 1943, shortly before turning 21.

    Sidney Keyes – World War Poetry

    His most famous poem is 'War Poet' , which has appeared in various anthologies over the years. Not a personal favourite of mine by any means.

    Regards


    War Poet

    ” I am the man who looked for peace and found
    My own eyes barbed,
    I am the man who groped for words and found
    An arrow in my hand.
    I am the builder whose firm walls surround
    A slipping land.
    When I grow sick or mad
    Mock me not nor chain me:
    When I reach for the wind
    Cast me not down:
    Though my face is a burnt book
    And a wasted town."
     
  7. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    This one is unusual, it was written by Baruch Milch, a Jew in hiding, after witnessing unspeakable horrors of German rule over Polish Eastern Borderlands.
    Almost entire his family was murdered, including his brother's son, who his brother killed himself because he was too noisy.
    The unimaginable today hell created there by the Germans, Soviets, Ukrainians nationalists, and grinding poverty was unrivaled by anything else during the ww2.
    It's only a literal translation from poetic Polish.

    What will You say about all this, eternal witness to deeds of murder? Why do You not darken this cruel world? Do You not regret the light? Does human suffering not distress You? Does the pain of humankind not move You?
    Can I be expected to suffer such torture without reacting?
    Why do You not order Your angels to darken the world and interrupt the abominable work?
    Does this dreadful sight not disturb You?
    I beg You, reveal to me who did the deed.
    Who plucked my roses with such cruelty?
    Was it a tiger or a lioness, one of those wild beasts? Or someone in charge of them?
    Might it have been a troupe of vampires with their master?
    How could You not slay them with a thunderbolt?
    How can You, the Omnipotent, observe this slaughter without punishing the curs?
    Do You have a secret covenant with them? Can Heaven be void?
    I must no longer believe in You and in Your capacity of Divine Providence. The world's believers are no better than wild beasts.
    The world keeps silent at the massacre of innocents.
    So-called civilized countries consult with each other as if at a ball, And You, poor persecuted one, see only blood in your soul.
    What can I, stricken, think of besides revenge?
    And then I saw before me the body of my sister-in-law, and I began to speak to her:
    "My darling! Your soul is already in Heaven, but I remain so bitterly alive. The earth is all washed with tears and with streams flowing with blood. Tell me: where lies my wife? Where has she disappeared?
    Who will now give us support or help? Who can inspire us?
    The murderers snatched you in the radiance of your lives. Together you had not reached 50 years
    And already we are forced to inter you with your children.
    The night birds sound their call to pave the way to death.
    The moon is overcast and sad, like all this cruel world.

    Written at the same time survival commandments of Baruch Milch:
    1. Thou shalt have no other god save thyself.
    2. Do only that which serves thyself and do not sacrifice thyself for another.
    3. Live life to the fullest and enjoy every moment.
    4. Love thyself above all.
    5. Do not believe - heaven is void.
    6. Do not do unto others that which pleases you.
    7. Do not uselessly burden thy mind.
    8. Harden thy heart and listen not to it.
     
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  8. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

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    That's most harrowing wm -thank you for sharing.
    Where is the translation from?
    I have just done a few web-searches but not finding much about Baruch Milch . Understand that Baruch Milch wrote a book called 'Can Heaven Be Void' . Was a collection of his poetry ever published?
    Thanks
     
  9. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

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    Just seen that Baruch Milch's daughter Ella Milch-Sheriff set extracts of 'Can Heaven Be Void' to orchestral music.
    Can Heaven be Void | ellamilchsheriff!

    Started watching first part of this.
    Orchestra with recited text and soprano- with full English subtitles
     
  10. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

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    Latest update to the World War poetry blog features the life and work of the Hungarian poet Miklos Radnoti , who was executed in 1944 whilst being made to serve in a military unit for Jewish labourers.
    WorldWar2poetry

    Here is Dame Judi Dench reciting Radnoti's 1944 poem 'I can not tell' from 1976.

     
  11. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

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    Have written a longer piece about Miklos Radnoti . Miklos Radnoti (1909- 1944) – World War Poetry

    Here is a poem written by Radnoti on March 27th 1944, shortly after the Germans took control over Hungary. Strangely haunting, considering that Radnoti would be executed before the year was out.

    O Ancient Prisons

    O peace of ancient prisons, beautiful
    outdated sufferings, the poet's death,
    images noble and heroical,
    which find their audience in measured breath-
    how far away you are. Who dares to act
    slides into empty void. Fog drizzles down
    Reality is like an urn that's cracked
    and can not hold its shape; and very soon
    its rotten shards will shatter like a storm.
    What is his fate who, while he breathes, will so
    speak of what is in measure and in form,
    and only thus he teaches how to know?

    He would teach more. But all things apart
    He sits and gazes, helpless at his heart.

    From the collection 'Foamy Sky- the Major Poems of Miklos Radnoti', Zsuzanna Ozsath and Frederick Turner (1992)
     
  12. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    It's from his book.
    He wasn't a poet. He merely was a man in hiding, with lots of time on his hands so he wrote that, his only poem.
     
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  13. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    Shostakovich's Babi Yar has been mentioned here but this is an "all-in-one" performance:

     
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  14. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

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    Always very moved by Shostakovich's 'Babi Yar' suite, and the 13th symphony as a whole.
    Sorry, I can't resist a plug for my blogpost on the subject .

    WorldWar2poetry: Remember Babi Yar -'Art Destroys Silence'

    Here is a clip of Yevgeny Yevtushenko reading 'Babi Yar' , he reads from an English translation at 1: 56 in to the clip.



    I see no harm in returning to the subject. The combination of the talents of Shostakovich and Yevtushenko made the piece so important in breaking the silence surrounding the massacre.
     

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