Poetry Corner

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Marion is  appreciative of the time and effort these talented young adults expended to write such meaningful words, and sincerely thanks each one of the authors, and classes, for their wonderful contributions in making this a 
better, friendlier and more peaceful world. Please  attribute the name of the author if you quote a poem.

Learning From the Nightmare

Terrible things happened during WW 11
The Nazis took power and anti-Semitism grew.

They came with guns and killed innocent ones
Few got to run-the Holocaust had begun.

They were so cruel and had just one rule
They’d kill many Jews or else they would lose.

Without a piece of bread, their victims would be dead
The hated monster filled everyone with dread.

Jews were treated like animals and many died
With all that was against them, how could they survive?

They had to suffer so the Nazis could be tough
While they longed for food, the S.S. played rough.

Over 11 million died – 6 million were Jews
What would you have done if you were in their shoes?

It was a terrible time and such an awful waste
When it was finally over, the Nazis left in haste.

When the Allies found survivors, they were so thin and weak
Many were so shocked that they couldn’t speak

Imagine enduring a living hell
Who would believe your story? Who could you tell?

Now that we’ve read and learned so much
And have met a survivor with a gentle touch

The horrors of the Holocaust we must accept
We must remember lest we forget.

We need to learn from what happened in those years
For no one can imagine how great were their fears.

We need to respect people of all faces
And not criticize one another’s races.

Peace in the world is what we surely need
In order for mankind to really succeed.

So this is the message we take away
One we must remember each and every day.

From Class 6-302, PS 32, Queens, NY February 1999

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The story is being told
Is anyone listening?

The message is respect and love
Has anyone ever heard?

The lesson is tolerance
Will Humanity ever learn it?

The survivors are the teachers
How many didn’t survive?

How many stories will never be told?
How many messages have been lost throughout the years?

I am listening
I am learning
I will pass the lesson on.

By Susan Walker, Culver Girls Academy, Culver, IN

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Statistics

The statistic is 11 million
It is learned by rote
Memorized for a test, then forgotten
11 million people’s deaths are just another fact for another test

Until you see the pictures, until you hear the stories
Until you meet the ones who escaped the statistic

Then 11 million is no longer just a number
It is a face, two faces
Thousands, millions of faces
Imprinted indelibly in your heart.

By Susan Walker, Culver Girls Academy, Culver, IN

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The Year the Sun Went Down

Glass breaking, guns shooting, children crying, people screaming,
The year the sun went down.

Prejudice, race isolation, targeted groups, due to ignorance; need of a scapegoat,
The year the sun went down.

Hiding, waiting, preparing for the worst, praying, hoping, wishing for the best,
Its rays peeking over the mountain.

Anxious, nervous, patiently waiting, still expecting the worst, but yet underestimating.
Clouds cover the last ray of hope.

Beyond what was expected fast and quick, captured, transported, starved and abused,
And the blackened sky reigns.

Where a childhood memory is that of lice, rats, and death, faced by it everyday,
And the dark sky’s empire rules.

Then the heroes of life start to come back through, a little hope redeemed.
One ray, one ray of light cuts through the black.

Correction and victory are very near, people wait, patiently wait.
As the sun’s light shows through.

Not forgetting such cruel times, always laying in hearts,
The year the sun went down.

By Amelia Jeffirs, Culver Girls Academy, Culver, IN

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The Fall

I see through her eyes.
A river flows.
I see her words.

An illuminating fire glows remembering pasts gladly.
No ashes, no gray shadows pass over crackling leaves.

A tree stands.
Not the tree of a fresh spring morn.
One more beautiful.

A tree comfortable in its coat of many colors.
Turns as the sky is filled with a kaleidoscope of blue.

Can’t smile at this tree.
Must learn from it to more appreciate the fall.

A river flows.
Not one of heedless tide,
but of a river comfortable in its journey.
Knows the time-weathered journey.
And all its stones along the way.

By Ashley M. Pierce, Culver Girls Academy, Culver, IN

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I am a 6th grader at Millburn Middle School. My Mom bought me your book and we both read it. My grandma came from Denmark in 1940. I have heard about the Holocaust, but your book inspired me to write a poem. 

I thought you might want to read it.

Four Perfect Pebbles
Lying on the ground

Four Perfect Pebbles
No one knows where they are bound

Four Perfect Pebbles
Sister, brother, husband, wife

Four Perfect Pebbles
Each represents a life

Four Perfect Pebbles
Running far away

Four Perfect Pebbles
Where can they stay

But for Four Perfect Pebbles
Not all is lost

For now comes the end
Of this horrible Holocaust

I loved the book, I cried and got choked up, but thank you for writing such a meaningful book.
Your beloved reader, Maya Schechner February 2004

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In the Terrible Time of the Holocaust

A terrible time it was indeed, food and water were in desperate need.

We look back today and say, “how cruel!
That Hitler, that Hitler, what a fool!”

Many innocent victims were killed in this war,
Even during roll calls, when accounted for.

To this day we remember those who were lost,
In the terrible time of the Holocaust.

Let us always remember and never forget,
The Jews that were trapped in the Nazi’s net.

By Kate Loscalzo, Class 6-302, PS 32, Queens, NY

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Thank you for speaking to us,
It was a real treat.

Remembering the Holocaust is a must.
I will never forget it, it really beats.

I will do as you ask
Performing the task.

I will tell my children
And I will tell their children

Of the story…..
“Four Perfect Pebbles”

By Victor Chow, Class 6-302, PS 32, Queens, NY

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BEFORE

Beauty and order fill my life
In this world there is no strife

Family and friends everywhere
Loving comfort always there

Warm and cozy fires by the hearth
Home is certainly heaven on earth

Merrily playing in the park
Lingering there till after dark

Radiant as I dance the ballet
Leaping to perform the Grand Jete

Singing songs like a lark
With my violin, I’ll make my mark

Endless strolls through fields of flowers
Daisy chains sewn by the hours

Teacher, dancer, singer for me
Maybe I’ll be all three

Like the powerful eagle I’ll soar
A stellar future is in store

Hopes and dreams crystal clear
My childhood is so very dear

By Emily Simpson, 6th Grade, Saint Cecilia School
San Francisco, CA

AFTER

One dark and dismal day
The Nazis took my family away

They brought us to Auschwitz camp
Where everything is cold and damp

My world shattered before my very eyes
Though there were many, I’m abandoned with no ties

My room is gray and windowless
The guards outside are merciless

Overworked, our bodies ache with pain
As we labor for their gain

Haunted shadows of our selves
We lie sleepless on shelves

Caged and confined by wire
Terrified by hellish fire

The stench of death fills the air
Oh! How life is so unfair

People marched one by one
Knowing their end has come

My days are spent wondering how I’ll cope
In my heart, I fear no hope

By Emily Simpson, 6th Grade, Saint Cecilia School
San Francisco, CA

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You were the child of the star
Hope taken away, not lost
You had to live a nightmare,
To end up in a dream

Ambition was yours
You hid it from them
And later, proved them wrong

When peace seemed illusive
You thought else wise
What were childish beliefs,
Lead you to survival

Your relentless struggle to live
Proved your tenacity
And built your mental vigor

You now look back,
A past that murdered each victim’s soul,
And can say you weren’t one of them

You deserve nothing less,
You gave it your all
You are the star child

You are an amazing person and your story will be spread on throughout
my family and friends for generations to come. People like you and
Elie are needed now, more than ever.

Thank you again for sharing your experiences with us today, and I will
spread the word of the atrocities of the Holocaust, and continue to
abide by your simple message, “be kind to one another.”

Sincerely, Patrick Montalto, 8th Grade, Rocky Point Middle School, New York