But Who Was It Emptied The Sand

But who was it emptied the sand from your shoes
When you had to stand up and die?
The sand that Israel recalled home,
Its wandering sand?
Burning Sand of Sinai,
Mixed with the throats of nightingales,
Mixed with the wings of butterflies,
Mixed with the yearning dust of serpents,
Mixed with all the dregs of Solomon’s wisdom
Mixed with the bitter drops from the secret of wormwood –

O you fingers
That emptied the sand from the shoes of the Dead,
Tomorrow you will be dust
In the shoes of those to come!

Wer aber leerte den Sand aus euren Schuhen,
Als ihr zum Sterben aufstehen mußtet?
Den Sand, den Israel heimholte,
Seinen Wandersand?
Brennenden Sinaisand,
Mit den Kehlen von Nachtigallen vermischt,
Mit den Flügeln des Schmetterlings vermischt,
Mit dem Sehnsuchtsstaub der Schlangen vermischt,
Mit allem was abfiel von der Weisheit Salomos vermischt,
Mit dem Bitteren aus des Wermuts Geheimnis vermischt −

O ihr Finger,
Die ihr den Sand aus Totenschuhen leertet,
Morgen schon werdet ihr Staub sein
In den Schuhen Kommender!


One thought on “But Who Was It Emptied The Sand

  1. To me this poem has a deep meaning. I believe it means that even if you do something terrible, you will be remembered as something worthless or awful. One of the symbols I found is shoe, representing liberty from the concentration camp. The second symbol I found was wings, which represent freedom and liberty from the harsh Nazis.

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