Monday 6 February 2012

Poem by the Swedish writer
Oscar Levertin (1862-1906)

At the Jewish cemetery in Prague

Do not lay flowers, fringes, ribbons
on monuments above their bones,
life did not choose green wreaths to give them
but stones. On monuments lay stones!

As did the forefathers, those hounded
from land to land with taunts and shame
who’ve seen through centuries unrounded
their line by ghetto’s curse so maimed.

Where to the weary rest is given
from homeless roaming’s path of thorns,
and anxious heart no more is riven
by self-shed tears and others’ scorn,

where summer promises if spoken
won’t fool death’s quietness now full-known.
Do not lay flowers as love’s token
on monuments, or wreaths. Lay stones!

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