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Home » High Critique » Rooms and War

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12/16/2010 2:30:06 PM

Qi Wang
Posts: 1
(help with the title? :/)

In the most interior halls
Of grandfather, opa, Herr Uberlebende
His mind
Behind the film that shrouds his eyes
(Fading, opaque, impenetrable)
There is a gap between the rooms that line the dusted floors--
A hole between the satanic years
When worlds erupted and world war too,
Between eight year old boy and that
Thirteen year old half-man
(His portrait was burned with all the rest,
That filled the uninhabitable rooms)
A line of broken apartments hide
Padlocked, wired, sealed by ghosts.

They lie repressed beneath the floors
And grandpapa, my dear
Has not been to clean them since
The doctors taught him they didn’t exist
Don’t exist
Extract your belongings
(We’ll pay your fees)
Whitewash the walls—
And then you leave.

For it would be your death to enter
Into those vacant rooms
Starved walls
Where you, yes you,
(Oh Opa, pappy)
Emaciated your soul
Deprived, you
Forsook your abode—
When an eight year old Liebling
Peering between life and death
(Retreating behind his hole in the wall)
In his splendid apartment—his very own
Looked up
At the S.S. poster boy—
And Himmler’s devil asked—
“Who is home?”

And the answer came back, in echoes
Echoes
“No one, no one is home
There is an empty apartment, empty, empty;
and no one, no one is home.”

Lies come true.
Now only echoes and the massacred
tread in the purged, forbidden rooms.
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12/29/2010 11:20:37 AM

Eiken Laan
Posts: 10
Hi Qi,
This is a deeply moving poem, very sad, traumatic. I am not sure why you put the words in German there, are they just your personal references to your grandfather (opa). I found they distracted me while reading, I stopped at the opa, Herr Uberlebende and again at Liebling and I had to go back to re-read again and again. I feel it would be best not to have the German in there but just my thoughts. I live in Ireland and in Germany at present and the war is still such a big part of TV in Germany. There are endless documentaries which surprised me when I went to live there at first.

I love the description of your grandfather, in fact the whole first verse is wonderful. I recently wrote a piece on remembrance day of my Great Grandfather who died in the Somme and I realised when writing it that it was best that he was blown to pieces for those who survived, lived out the rest of their lives in sheer misery with recurrent nightmares of the shelling, body parts, trenches.

"For it would be your death to enter
Into those vacant rooms
Starved walls"

I think these lines say so much and I really love your last lines, wonderful end to this poem. A super write
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