The Burning Of The Books Poem by Bertolt Brecht

The Burning Of The Books

Rating: 4.8

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

Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Topic(s) of this poem: holocaust
Philipp G. 03 April 2019

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 16 January 2018

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

3 1 Reply
Angel Michael 01 December 2017

Wonderful poem. I would like this poem

1 1 Reply
Michael R. Burch 29 December 2019

Thanks, I'm glad you liked my translation.

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Dutendra Chamling 05 November 2015

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 1 Reply
Michael Burch 29 December 2019

I agree with Brodsky!

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