On A Sunny Evening
On a purple, sun-shot evening
Under wide-flowering chestnut trees
Upon the threshold full of dust
Yesterday, today, and the days are all like these.
Trees flower forth their beauty,
Lovely, too, their very wood all gnarled and old
That I am half afraid to peer
Into thier crowns of green and gold.
The sun has made a veil of gold
So lovely that my body aches.
Above, the heavens shriek with blue
Convinced, I've smiled by some mistake.
The world's abloom and seems to smile.
I want to fly, but where, how high?
If in barbed wire, things can bloom
Why couldn't I? I will not die!
Written by the children in Barracks
L318 and L417, ages 10-16 years.
A great deal of poetry written by the children imprisoned in Terezin and Theresienstadt during the Holocaust has been preserved. This poem is especially moving because it expresses the children's hope and will to survive. Sadly, of all the children who were imprisoned at Theresienstadt during World War II, only about 100 survived.