Category: Poetry
When with the light of dawn I am awaking,
Or when I sink into sleep's dark abyss,
I have a feeling that there's something wanting,
That there is something very much amiss.
My hands and feet ... they do not seem disabled,
I seem quite sound of body and of soul.
It's freedom that I lack! Yes, that's the trouble.
I cannot breathe the air a captive's doled.
When in captivity your speech is stifled,
Your living body is of life deprived.
And then it doesn't matter, not a trifle,
Whether you are dead or still alive!
Even if my limbs are whole, what do I profit?
It really makes no difference that they are.
My right to move of my free will is forfeit,
My every step, my every song is barred.
I grew up without parents yet I never
Felt hopelessly bereaved and all alone.
But now I've lost what I held even dearer:
My native land, the land that was my own.
In hostile country I am held a captive,
An orphan without liberty or home.
But to my foes I'm nonetheless destructive,
And so my life has been confined in stone.
Just like a golden bird you've flown forever,
My winged liberty, my freedom fair.
If only you had let me go together...
Oh why did I not perish, then and there?!
There is no way to plumb, no way to fathom
The pain that racks the heart for freedom lost.
When free, I did not know the price of freedom,
In slavery have I learned what freedom costs!
Should destiny one day destroy this prison,
And should it find me here and still alive,
To liberty, the sacred fight for freedom
I'll give each moment that remains in life.
July 1942