Shema Poem by Primo Levi

Shema

Rating: 3.4


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


Anonymous submission.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Donald J. Trump 06 December 2020

Mmmhmhmhmhmhhmhm food lol xd 10/10

0 2 Reply
Donald J. Trump 06 December 2020

Interesting poem i must say. It both includes the parallel suffering of men and women in the same sheet and teaches us the importance of our future and our civilization. 10/10

0 2 Reply
Fabrizio Frosini 12 September 2015

Shemà è una parola ebraica (???) che significa “ascolta”; essa compare nell’espressione Shemà Israel (??? ?????, “Ascolta, Israele”) = Shema is a Hebrew word (???) which means listen; it appears in the expression ''Shema Israel'' (??? ?????, Hear, O Israel)

26 3 Reply
Fabrizio Frosini 12 September 2015

Shemà Voi che vivete sicuri nelle vostre tiepide case, voi che trovate tornando a sera il cibo caldo e visi amici: considerate se questo è un uomo che lavora nel fango che non conosce pace che lotta per mezzo pane che muore per un sì o per un no. Considerate se questa è una donna, senza capelli e senza nome senza più forza di ricordare vuoti gli occhi e freddo il grembo come una rana d'inverno. Meditate che questo è stato: vi comando queste parole. Scolpitele nel vostro cuore stando in casa e andando per via, coricandovi alzandovi; ripetetele ai vostri figli. O vi si sfaccia la casa, la malattia vi impedisca, i vostri nati torcano il viso da voi. (Primo Levi - 10 Gennaio 1946.) January 10,1946

23 3 Reply
Matthew Balnaves 13 June 2005

Brilliant poem...illustrates the suffering of one of the very few survivors of the most serious attrocity ever. Levi was a truly awesome wordsmith who preached his woes to a world that could never quite understand.

18 15 Reply
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