Butterfly and Yellow Flower - Photo by Meredith Eastwood

 

Courage and Imagination Survive

Yesterday, while browsing Half Price Books, I discovered I Never Saw Another Butterfly: Children’s Drawings and Poems from Terezin Concentration Camp, 1942-1944. Deeply touched, I was compelled to purchase it.

Here is a poem by Pavel Friedmann, 1942:

“The Butterfly”
The last, the very last
So richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow.
Perhaps if the sun’s tears would 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 good-bye.
For seven weeks I’ve lived here,
Penned up inside this ghetto.
But I have found what I love here.
The dandelions call to me
And the white chestnut branches in the court.
Only I never saw another butterfly.
That butterfly was the last one,
Butterflies don’t live here,
in the ghetto.