Abraham Sutzkever (July 15, 1913 – January 20, 2010) was an acclaimed Yiddish poet. The New York Times wrote that Sutzkever was "the greatest poet of the Holocaust."
Abraham (Avrom) Sutzkever was born on July 15, 1913 in Smorgon, Russian Empire, now Smarhoń, Belarus. During World War I, his family fled eastwards from the German invasion and settled in ... more »
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Abraham Sutzkever Poems
Did you ever see in fields of snow Frozen Jews, in row upon row? Breathless they lie, marbled and blue.
A Trip Through Africa
All the noises, all the sounds, asleep. Under seven streams sleeps fear. And the elephant, so deep in sleep, That you can sneak up, cut off his ear.
Signs of paws — an animal has sown Like blue roses in the white snow's gleam, When the sun, new risen and unknown, Like a baby, casts its piercing scream —
A Wagon Of Shoes
The wheels they drag and drag on, What do they bring, and whose? They bring along a wagon Filled with throbbing shoes.
Grains Of Wheat
Caves, gape open, Split open under my ax! Before the bullet hits me — I bring you gifts in sacks.
In A Siberian Forest
Infant sun, forever born anew, Rolls in snow with me, with light enriched. Papa says: 'Come on, the sky is blue, Let's go fetch some wood.' And so we hitched
Smoke Of Jewish Children
Only smoke, smoke, hovering smoke, Dead children — puffs of living smoke. They call: Mama, mama! from the smoke,
A letter arrived from the town of my birth from one still sustained by the grace of her youth. Enclosed between torment and fondness she pressed a blade of grass from Ponar.
The same ashes will cover all of us: The tulip — a wax candle flickering in the wind, The swallow in its flight, sick of too many clouds, The child who throws his ball into eternity —
Stooped over, the donkeys are weeping in Jerusalem. No more the holy old woman, the singer Else. No one will come to feed them with sparkling sugar And help them bear the wounded stones of the Kastel,
Digging a pit as one must, as they say. I seek in the earth a solace today. A thrust and a cut — and a worm gives a start:
Among us they wander, the ashamed, Their number Seared in their arm With red coal of hell.
From Myself To Myself
How long is the road from myself to myself? Sometimes half a moment, That's all. Here is wholeness. But a serpent On the path between the two gates.
When The River Overflowed Its Bank
When the river overflowed its bank I only came up to my knees. But time stood before me on its knees, When the river overflowed its bank.
Comments about Abraham Sutzkever
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Did you ever see in fields of snow
Frozen Jews, in row upon row?
Breathless they lie, marbled and blue.
Of death in their bodies, no hint and no clue.
Somewhere their spirit is frozen and saved
Like a golden fish in a frozen wave.
Not speaking. Not silent. Just thinking bright.
The sun too lies frozen in snow at night.
On a rosy lip, in the freeze, still glows
A smile — will not move, not budge since it froze.
Near his mother, a baby starving, at rest.
How strange: she cannot give him her breast.
The fist of a naked old man in ...