Poem – Primo Levi


… But when we began to sing
Our songs, senseless and good,
It seemed then that everything
Stood as it once had stood.

The days were merely days.
Seven made a week.
Killing we thought was wicked.
Of dying we didn’t think.

The months sped by so fast,
With too many to come for complaints!
Again we were only young:
Not martyrs, the shamed, or saints.

We had these thoughts and others
As long as we could sing.
But it’s all hard to explain,
Being a cloudlike thing.

                         January 3, 1946

                  Primo Levi 

Translated by Marco Sonzogni and Harry Thomas.

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