From the Ashes: A Month with Yeats, Day Nine

 This is for Jane Dougherty’s November Month with Yeats, Day Nine. The quotation is: 

“Troy passed away in one high funeral gleam,

And Usna’s children died.”

—W.B. Yeats

I was also inspired, or perhaps haunted, by this article that I saw last night about a girl’s pendant found at Sobihor.


Once she played and laughed upon a hill,

once there were families, hope, delight

before darkness came and all was still

in a nightmare world of constant night

monster-filled with hate and fear

and all that once was cherished and held dear

lost forever, or perhaps entombed

within the ruins, amidst the gloom.


Years passed in revolutions round the sun,

and grass sprouted in ashes cooled of fired hate

buried there, searchers found that she was one

in rubble raked beyond the gate

found there, a victim of the slaughter,

someone’s child, once a daughter,

found her broach, inscribed, a sign, a trace

that she existed once, now not entirely erased.


But does this finding some closure bring

to those who are left or suffering?

The ashes of the dead once rained like sordid snow

fertilizing now the ground where flowers grow

light’s restored, but mutable

and darkness still falls, indisputable,

hope the feather that softly flies

from wings of knowledge and wistful sighs.






23 thoughts on “From the Ashes: A Month with Yeats, Day Nine

  1. I read the article, too. They had been planning to try to see if it connected with Anne Frank because their pendants were so similar, but I like the way the story has come to us as the family coming together and the focus on Karoline as a girl deserving of our contemplation and memorialization as much as Anne Frank. Did you see how some of the people contacted had no idea they had family in the Holocaust? That was the situation we started our search from. So ignorant.

  2. I am sorry to hear of any children lost, wounded by assault or dead from slaughtering but we must remember this exists, as well as happened in the past.
    The feather gave it a more wistful ending. Like Jane expressed~ that line about ashes of the dead is good, among many. I’m not by a calendar but this would be appropriate for Remembrance Day, Merril.

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