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March 26, 2017

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The Butterfly - Pavel Friedmann

He was the last. Truly the last.
Such yellowness was bitter and blinding
Like the sun’s tear shattered on stone.
That was his true colour.
And how easily he climbed, and how high,
Certainly, climbing, he wanted
To kiss the last of my world.

I have been here seven weeks,
‘Ghettoized’
Who loved me have found me,
Daisies call to me,
And the branches also of the white chestnut in the yard.
But I haven’t seen a butterfly here.
That last one was the last one.
There are no butterflies, here, in the ghetto.

Pavel Friedmann, a young Jewish man from the Theresienstadt Ghetto wrote this poem during his time there. He was later deported to Auschwitz and died on 29 September 1944.

What do you think the tone of this poem is? please back it up with specific lines! and I don't get the theme of this poem.thanks!

  • analyzing poem - ,

    The tone is mournful. You can hear the sorrow and longing in the lines:
    "He was the last. Truly the last.
    Such yellowness was bitter and blinding
    Like the sun’s tear shattered on stone."

    The theme is freedom, or rather, the lack of it. The butterflies are a symbol of freedom and beauty in literature(in my unprofessional opinion). The lack of butterflies is the lack of freedom and hope.

    "That last one was the last one."

    I think Pavel was talking more about glimspes of freedom than of butterflies. That last taste of freedom he had before the Ghetto was the last taste of freedom he would ever get. He knew that.

  • analyzing poem - ,

    Thanks so much! :)

  • analyzing poem - ,

    You're welcome. I'm a word-nerd and write some poetry of my own, so I like tryign to figure out what other Poets were thinking when they wrote their works.

  • analyzing poem - ,

    it was a long tim ago when the earth was green where you could see dinosaurs you've never seen.

  • analyzing poem - ,

    How does the tone change from the first half to the last half of the poem?

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