Herbert Nehrlich

(04 October 1943 / Germany)

........ism


He pulled the trigger
on that noisy morning
in the Bunker of Berlin.
The pages of Mein Kampf,
just briefly soaked
were used to start
the fire that would mark
the end of an epoch
that had, astonishingly, given
birth to itself in 1928.
When a fanatic says a word
of hatred or of utter bigotry,
one must believe, as if it were HIS word
or be forever in the net of rank complicity.
So, he is dead and gone
but something ugly thrives,
it is called Hitlerism.
And it has spread to reach
all corners of a peace-less globe.
It dresses in the clothes of any emperor
and wears the mask of true benevolence.
Perhaps the answer is to close one's eyes
and listen to the music of oblivion.

Submitted: Sunday, July 17, 2005

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  • Ruby Honeytip (10/29/2012 11:30:00 PM)

    A brave and insightful narrative. My poetry is all beating hearts and silliness. Whilst that is true....I am capable of appreciating the depth of your work: ^) Thank you! (Report) Reply

  • Rekha Mandagere (6/22/2011 6:41:00 AM)

    What a threat to humanity, even though the epoch has gone its impact is still prevailing. Thanks for awakening us with your educative poem. Marks 10 (Report) Reply

  • Obinna Eruchie (5/25/2009 9:26:00 AM)

    there is something about........ism hidden behind the meaning of words that bear it. brilliant work. (Report) Reply

  • Naseer Ahmed Nasir (3/7/2009 7:02:00 AM)

    Very true, Herbert........ism has spread everywhere, on all parts of the world. In different dresses, wearing different masks, having different names. Last two lines have consoling effect.
    Regards
    Naseer (Report) Reply

  • Tanya Stanford (8/31/2008 7:39:00 AM)

    Lets just hope people remember him for his bad and learn from it. Brilliant piece of poetry (Report) Reply

  • Gregory Collins (11/18/2007 3:43:00 AM)

    what about all the fools that died with him on their mind, if only the earth could erase the 20th century, nothing came out of it worth a mention (Report) Reply

  • Joscephine Gomez (7/9/2007 1:12:00 PM)

    The last few lines ought to be read and understood by many leaders here in Asia.
    Thank you, Herbert for hitting the nail on its head really hard. (Report) Reply

  • Elysabeth Faslund (6/12/2007 10:49:00 PM)

    Dictators make incredible forward movements of progress in their countries...but, then they begin the destruction of the very progress they engendered. Dictatorship will never be anything more than a passing Evil...brief, but horrible. This poem embodies this aspect, Herbert. Good for you! ! xxxElysabeth (Report) Reply

  • Not a member No 4 (5/15/2007 2:38:00 PM)

    Insightful, incisive, to the point, eloquent in its brevity, and in its idealism, and historically valuable, with a devious little twist in the tail to provoke the preferred response in the reader's mind. The music of oblivion calls anyway, but as you'd urge, why respond before our time, why play their game. Very fine work Herbert. You were right! Only another 2486 + to go and if they're all up to this standard then perhaps that should be enough to keep that music at bay. See you again soon! jim (Report) Reply

  • K K (3/6/2007 7:26:00 AM)

    We should always remember what history has to teach us. I am enjoying your work :)

    KK (Report) Reply

  • Chris Mendros (1/31/2007 11:15:00 AM)

    'and wears the mask of true benevolence.'
    Amen to that. It has reached my 'corner of the earth', not only among mindless neo-Nazis, but thru hip-hop 'culture' to those who like to play at thuggery in a non-thug setting.
    And, most insidiously, thru the do-gooder-ist nanny-state that punishes boys for breathing loud, praises girls for breathing at all, and has rendered making an honest living up here a pipe dream, best endured by 'closing one's eyes...(etc) '.
    So, when were you here in Maine, USA?
    CJGM (Report) Reply

  • Michael Petryszyn (4/28/2006 9:51:00 PM)

    I am humbled by your linguistic prowess. Please do me a favor and continue writing poems as amazing as this one. (Report) Reply

  • Rene Bennett (7/21/2005 2:48:00 AM)

    Very deep words of yesterdays past. A horrible one at that. I am looking forward to reading more of your work.

    Rene' (Report) Reply

  • Rene Bennett (7/21/2005 2:48:00 AM)

    Very deep words of yesterdays past. A horrible one at that. I am looking forward to reading more of your work.

    Rene' (Report) Reply

  • Rene Bennett (7/21/2005 2:46:00 AM)

    Very deep write of a remembered past. A horrible one at that. I am looking forward to reading more of your work.

    Rene' (Report) Reply

Read all 23 comments »

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