He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

Had I the heaven's embroidered cloths, Enwrought with golden and silver light, The blue and the dim and the dark cloths Of night and light and the half-light, I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. William Butler Yeats

If This Is A Man

-Primo Levi, If This Is A Man

You who live safe

In your warm houses

You who find warm food

And friendly faces when you return home.

Consider if this is a man

Who works in mud,

Who knows no peace,

Who fights for a crust of bread,

Who dies by a yes or a no.

Consider if this is a woman

Without hair, without name,

Without the strength to remember,

Empty are her eyes, cold her womb,

Like a frog in winter.

Never forget that this has happened.

Remember these words.

Engrave them in your hearts,

When at home or in the street,

When lying down, when getting up.

Repeat them to your children.

Or may your houses be destroyed,

May illness strike you down,

May your offspring turn their faces from you.

-Primo Levi, If This Is A Man