Tuesday, May 25, 2021



By Rose Auslander (1901-1988)
Translated from German by Eavan Boland
My Fatherland is dead.
They buried it
in fire
I live
in my Motherland­—
Rose Auslander was a German-speaking Jewish poet from Czernowitz. She spent part of World War II in the ghetto of Czernowitz. She was given American citizenship in 1948. After the trauma of persecution, she wrote in English and only resumed writing in German in 1956. 
She writes here that her true home is the word itself. It distinguishes between national identity and individual identity which is informed by language. The current state of affairs in our country strongly echoes this sentiment.