Bertolt Brecht

(10 February 1898 – 14 August 1956 / Augsburg)

The Burning Of The Books - Poem by Bertolt Brecht

When the Regime
commanded the unlawful books to be burned,
teams of dull oxen hauled huge cartloads to the bonfires.

Then a banished writer, one of the best,
scanning the list of excommunicated texts,
became enraged: he'd been excluded!

He rushed to his desk, full of contemptuous wrath,
to write fierce letters to the morons in power —
Burn me! he wrote with his blazing pen —
Haven't I always reported the truth?
Now here you are, treating me like a liar!
Burn me!

Translated by Michael R. Burch

Topic(s) of this poem: holocaust

Comments about The Burning Of The Books by Bertolt Brecht

  • (4/3/2019 1:46:00 PM)

    I have discovered that your translation is not wholly accurate, I am a fluent German speaker and in class I decided to translate it from the original, and I did not get what you got. (Report)Reply

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  • (1/16/2018 10:28:00 PM)

    I'm glad people are enjoying my translation of a great poet with an important message. (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
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  • (12/1/2017 3:52:00 AM)

    Wonderful poem. I would like this poem (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Dutendra Chamling (11/5/2015 11:16:00 PM)

    Wonderful poems. This poem reminded me, Poet Joseph Brodsky's quotation:
    ''There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.''

    4 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, February 11, 2015

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