Oh humans, we are so great!
What worlds from within us we create!
Out of our dreams we build a paradise hotel.
Out of a nightmare, a death camp hell.
I know what it means not to return.
Through barbed wire I have seen
The sun go down and die,
And have felt my flesh torn
By an old poet's words:
"The sun may set and rise,
But we, contrariwise,
Sleep after our short light
One everlasting night."
February 7, 1946
Translated by Marco Sonzogni and Harry Thomas
Lines 6-9 are Walter Raleigh's translation of Catullus, Catulli liber, 5,4.