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The Burning of The Books by Bertolt Brecht

My friend and I were talking about people burning books in history. There were a lot of works citing this event today, fiction and nonfiction both. I was wondering if anyone ever wrote a poem about it, and I found this one after a bit of a search.

The Burning of The Books
Bertolt Brecht

When the Regime commanded that books with harmful knowledge
Should be publicly burned on all sides
Oxen were forced to drag cart loads of books
To the bonfires, a banished
Writer, one of the best, scanning the list of the
Burned, was shocked to find that his
Books had been passed over. He rushed to his desk
On wings of wrath, and wrote a letter to those in power.
Burn me! he wrote with flying pen, burn me. Haven’t my books
Always reported the truth? And here you are
Treating me like a liar! I command you:
Burn me!

Comments (1)

  • Liz Rosenberg

    This is a great, great poem, but not a great translation. Hoping you will find a stronger one sometime. But thank you for including it!


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