The Survivor ( Tadeusz Rozewicz)

I am twenty four
Led to slaughter
I survived.

The following are empty synonyms:
man and beast
love and hate
friend and foe
darkness and light

The way of killing men and beasts is the same
I've seen it:
truckfuls of chopped up men
who will not be saved.

Ideas are mere words:
virtue and crime
truth and lies
beauty and ugliness
courage and cowardice.

Virtue and crime weigh the same
I've seen it:
in a man who was both
criminal and virtuous.

I seek a teacher and a master
may he restore my sight hearing and speech
may he again name objects and ideas
may he seperate darkness from light

I am twenty four
led to slaughter
I survived.

( translated by Adam Czerniak) Tadeusz Rozewicz was born in 1921. He survived the Second World War, and Stalinist Poland. He died last week. RIP