ENCOUNTERS WITH HISTORY


In the Hall of Mirrors, many decades

ago, an elderly German couple

asked me to take their photo. I thought of

quoting Heinrich Heine, “’Aus meinem Grossen

Schwerzen, Mach ich die Kleinen Lieder’” –

‘Out of my great sorrows Make I little songs’ –

but weltanschauung trumped chutzpah. I took it.

 

Though the Sun King himself built out of town,

the myth of the metropolis persists.

The city dreams. The world journeys elsewhere

in places too remote for my atlas –

like Belzec, Poland. The year I was born

daily five thousand gassed.

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