You who live secure
In your warm houses
Who return at evening to find
Hot food and friendly faces:
Consider whether this is a man,
Who labours in the mud
Who knows no peace
Who fights for a crust of bread
Who dies at a yes or a no.
Consider whether this is a woman,
Without hair or name
With no more strength to remember
Eyes empty and womb cold
As a frog in winter.
Consider that this has been:
I commend these words to you.
Engrave them on your hearts
When you are in your house, when you walk on your way,
When you go to bed, when you rise.
Repeat them to your children.
Or may your house crumble,
Disease render you powerless,
Your offspring avert their faces from you.
Translated by Ruth Feldman And Brian Swann
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Shema by Primo Levi )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1644 - 1694)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
Henry David Thoreau
(12 July 1817 – 6 May 1862)
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Inspiration, Henry David Thoreau
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- And Death Shall Have No Dominion, Dylan Thomas
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- A Poison Tree, William Blake
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
Poem of the Day
- With new ink, hasmukh amathalal
- An Example of unconditional love:, Gaurav Pandey
- It's Time to Fight, Sayeed Abubakar
- Lost and Found, michael hagwood
- I Decided, Jeri Martindale
- I surrender, Zafar Iqbal
- The Greatest, Michael P. McParland
- Christmas Rhyme, Akhil Arya
- The Best Days, Michael P. McParland
- The Arrival, Michael P. McParland