Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Yellow Butterfly....

This poem was written by a young person in the Terezin Ghetto, where the arts flourished as a defiance of the soul, even in Children. Nothing free, like the butterflies or the Jews, lasted long in the Captivity of brutal men. Pavel could watch butterflies soar over barbed wire, fences and guns, until there were no longer butterflies. It is a poignant reminder not only of the depth of expression in young Jewish souls, but of the captivity of art in having to hide defiance and honor in metaphor.

Polymer Clay ACEO from Zudagay

I Never saw Another Butterfly"

I never saw another butterfly . . .
The last, the very last,
so richly, brightly, dazzling yellow.
Perhaps if the sun's tears sing
against a white stone . . .
Such, such a yellow
Is carried lightly `way up high.
It went away I'm sure because it
wished to kiss the world goodbye.
For seven weeks I've lived in here,
Penned up inside this ghetto,
but I have found my people here.
The dandelions call to me,
And the white chestnut candles in the court.
Only I never saw another butterfly.
That butterfly was the last one.
Butterflies don't live here in the ghetto.
-- Pavel Friedman, June 1942

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