The last, the very last,So richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow.Perhaps if the sun’s tears would sing against a white stone…Such, such a yellowIs carried lightly ‘way up high.It went away I’m sure because it wished to kiss the world good-bye.For seven years I’ve lived in here,Penned up inside this ghetto.But I have found what I love here.The dandelions call to meAnd the white chestnut branches in the court.Only I never saw another butterfly.That butterfly was the last one.Butterflies don’t live in here, in the ghetto.
INITIAL ANALYSIS What is the poem about? How does it make you feel? Who is the intended audience? What are some specific words that give meaning to the poem? How does the form affect the poem? Who would be writing this and what is their purpose?
THE AUTHORWritten by Pavel FriedmanBorn on January 7, 1921Sent to Terezin in April 1942Died in Auschwitz on September 29, 1944
THE CULTURE The poem was written in Terezin, a concentration camp established by the Gestapo during WWII The premise for this camp was to show the Red Cross how humanely Jews were being treated Those sent to this camp were scholars, artists, and musicians. They were encouraged to live creative lives Terezin was liberated on May 9th, 1945
THE TRUTH Of the 144,000 Jews sent there, 33,000 died Most of these deaths were due to poor conditions: Disease Hunger Stress Approx. 88,000 were sent to extermination camps, including Auschwitz 17,247 Jews survived Terezin
FINAL ANALYSIS How does knowing the context affect the poem’s message? How does the poem affect you now that you know the context? What in the poem changes based on the context? Is it better to know the context before reading the poem, does the poem have more power without the context, or does it matter?
WORKS REFERENCED All of this information is found on wikipedia.com