Auschwitz 25th January 2005

Sixty Years ago
The best and worst
Machine of death
The world has known
Stopped loading
Barely living bones
From off the ramp
To starve in slavery
Tortured rules
Experiments on teenaged girls
Slow death
From sudden beatings
Necks half-snapped
Before forced meetings
Standing hours
In mind and snow
Clothed naked
Useless frozen tools
Discarded into ditches whole
Not fat to make a candle from
Life worth less than the paper time

It stopped.

(Try as I might
I see no light
That comes from this
Like Levi
All that’s known
Can only make the heart grow dark)

One day
Some sixty years ago
It stopped.

by Andrew Fincham

Comments (2)

In many cases, Poetry Hound is right and poetry on this subject leaves a bad taste of dissatisfaction. Yours however strikes me as unassuming and powerful in its own way. We do need reminding. I particularly like your deepening reference to Levi and your use of repetition. Linda
You write well, but I don't like this poem. Auschitz and the holocaust more broadly are very difficult to write about in a poetic way. It's almost as if they are too huge for mere poems, and that by writing poems you diminish them. There also can be an unintended ghoulish or voyueristic aspect to poems about someone else's tragedy. Don't take this personally. I frequently feel this way about poems like this.