Delta Storms

Oh joyous are the birds
Who sing after the rain
After the darkness and turmoil have passed
But what of their joy
For has the storm
Finally passed at last?

The roll of thunder
The sweet smell of rain
Lightening flashing in the dark
But tomorrow holds
A radiant future
So why an attitude so stark?

The answer lies
In a riddle I heard
In a bygone era past
Yesterday
Is today's tomorrow
So the dark cloud is always cast

A future so vivid
With a past so dark
Living in the present day
But to know that tomorrow
Is yesterday's today
Makes the sky seem always grey

Assumptions, you say
Balderdash, your words
To see darkness in the light
But do rivers not run dry?
Does not all life die?
So day will always turn into night

So I ask again
Oh joyous birds
Who sing after the rain
Would you still sing
If you knew
Tomorrow only brings pain?

by William King Jr.

Comments (6)

Thanks again to Fabrizio for the clarifications! Such a sad reminder of Auschwitz and the other death camps.
In true sense, Modern poem. Laconic but capable to express a lot. wonderful poem in deed.
I like the translation by Ruth Feldman And Brian Swann, but I'd prefer some little changes.. starting with the title: it is more than a call to reveil, it is a 'command / order': ''GET UP! '' - - The prisoners were not in a 'normal prison': they were in Auschwitz's death camp - - _________ GET UP! We used to dream in those brutal nights Dense, violent dreams Dreamed with soul and body: To return; to eat; to tell our story. Until it sounded - brief, low The command of dawn: Wstawac ''; And the heart cracked in the chest. Now we've recovered our homes, Our bellies are full, We've just finished telling the story. It's time. Soon we'll hear again That foreign command: Wstawac ''. - - ALZARSI Sognavamo nelle notti feroci Sogni densi e violenti Sognati con anima e corpo: Tornare; mangiare; raccontare. Finché suonava breve sommesso Il comando dell’alba: «Wstawac'»; E si spezzava in petto il cuore. Ora abbiamo ritrovato la casa, Il nostro ventre è sazio, Abbiamo finito di raccontare. E’ tempo. Presto udremo ancora Il comando straniero: «Wstawac'». _________ «Wstawac'» is 'Get up' in Polish
Primo Levi's note: ''Wstawac'' means Get up in Polish. It refers to the first 'command', shouted at dawn, in Auschwitz's death camp.
ITALIAN Text: ___________ Alzarsi Sognavamo nelle notti feroci Sogni densi e violenti Sognati con anima e corpo: Tornare; mangiare; raccontare. Finché suonava breve sommesso Il comando dell’alba: «Wstawac'»; E si spezzava in petto il cuore. Ora abbiamo ritrovato la casa, Il nostro ventre è sazio, Abbiamo finito di raccontare. E’ tempo. Presto udremo ancora Il comando straniero: «Wstawac'». 11 gennaio 1946 (Primo Levi)
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