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Poem of the Day--Miklos Radnoti

By John Published: April 9, 2011

The final postcard poems of Hungarian poet Miklos Radnoti -- discovered in a small notebook in his trenchcoat pocket by his wife after he was shot by Nazis during a forced march and dumped in a mass grave that was later exhumed -- have always inspired me as a journalist for the witness they bear that is unlike any war dispatch.

Here is one of those documentary "post cards" from this website, which includes a short biography of the poet.

Postcard 4

I fell beside him his body taut,
tight as a string just before it snaps,
shot in the back of the head.
"This is how you'll end too; just lie quietly here,"
I whispered to myself, patience blossoming into death.
"Der springt noch auf," the voice above me said
through caked mud and blood congealing in my ear.

translated by Michael R. Burch

"Der springt noch auf" means something like "That one is still jumping."

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