poet Bertolt Brecht

Bertolt Brecht

#462 on top 500 poets

The Burning Of The Books

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

Poem Submitted: Wednesday, February 11, 2015

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Comments about The Burning Of The Books by Bertolt Brecht

  • Philipp G. (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.

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  • Michael R. Burch (1/16/2018 10:28:00 PM)

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

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  • Angel Michael (12/1/2017 3:52:00 AM)

    Wonderful poem. I would like this poem

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    Michael R. Burch(12/29/2019 9:28:00 PM)

    Thanks, I'm glad you liked my translation.

    1 person liked.
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  • Dutendra ChamlingDutendra 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.''

    Report Reply
    Michael Burch(12/29/2019 9:37:00 PM)

    I agree with Brodsky!

    4 person liked.
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