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A YOUNG POET VISITS THE HOLOCAUST MUSEUM
by alongtheserivers
 GoodPoems
Mar 16, 2012 | 1877 views | 2 2 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

DURING THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY, 2012, A GROUP OF STUDENTS FROM JOHNSTOWN, PA, TRAVELED TO WASHINGTON, D.C. TO VISIT THE HOLOCAUST MUSEUM. THE TRIP WAS ARRANGED AND PAID FOR BY THE BEERMAN FUND.

AMONG THE STUDENTS WAS ALEXIS BUNCICH, A 12 YEAR OLD BUDDING POET.

ALEXIS IS NOT JEWISH; SHE IS NOT AN ADULT. WHAT SHE OBSERVED AND RECORDED SO SKILLFULLY IS THE ORIGINAL IMPRESSION OF AN INNOCENT, ONE WHO IS BEING EXPOSED TO THE HARSH REALITY OF EXPERIENCE NOT HER OWN.

BUT POETRY ITSELF  IS AN EXPERIENCE; A GOOD POET DOES MUCH MORE THAN INFORM, SHE SHARES SOMETHING THAT ALTERS A READER’S PERCEPTION. SHE EXPANDS US THROUGH THE POWER OF HER ARTISTIC ABILITY. THAT IS THE FUNCTION OF ALL ART THAT SUCCEEDS: IT ALTERS OUR OWN PERCEPTION, ALLOWS US TO MORE FULLY REALIZE SOMETHING, AND IN DOING SO, IT ADDS TO OUR LIVES.

ALEXIS’ POEM, REPRODUCED HERE, LEO AND ME, EMPLOYS A VERY EFFECTIVE STRATEGY: IT IS A TWO-PERSON POEM. THERE ARE TWO CONTRASTING VOICES, THOSE OF LEO AND ALEXIS.

THE WORK RESONATES EMOTIONALLY AND EMPLOYS SOME SKILLFUL POETICS.

SINCE EVERY SUCCESSFUL POEM SHOULD SPEAK FOR ITSELF, AND THIS ONE MOST CERTAINLY DOES, I WILL ALLOW THE READERS TO DISCOVER ITS QUALITY.



LEO AND ME


I am
alone

With

Cold, tired, sad prisoners surrounding me,

Leo

And the cold…..

After we shower,

Standing naked in the snow

You’d never think a person

Could survive naked in the snow, that long

Hungry after an all day’s work

And the meals in the soldier’s hands call to me

Today they enjoy

Killing people

I have been counting the days, everyday

Until the reign will end

And peace will come instead

Still the hunger comes

Wishing for a feast

But forget the hunger…..

And pray

Please God, get me out!

I will try my best to play this game,

But please help me, every day, Lord.

Amen.

 

I am together

With

Family and friends surrounding me,

Alexis

And the cold…..

After I shower,

As we all go outside into the snow

You’d never think a person

Would play all day in the snow, that long

Hungry after an all day’s play

The ham on the counter calls to me

Today we’ll enjoy

Opening presents, eating cookies, goodwill

I have been counting the days, everyday

Until the rain will end

And snow will come instead

I am full now

A Christmas feast in my stomach

But forget the fullness…..

And pray

Thank you for the day

Of family and cheer,

My warm bed, safe at night, everything I have,

Amen.



                   ---Alexis Buncich 

Thanks for clicking in. xo Judy

Comments
(2)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
bege
|
March 18, 2012
That a mere child can understand the horrors and conditions of a Leo`s existance from one visit to the Museum says a lot for her intelligance, as well as the way the materials were presented to the students. And her ability to express her feelings in poetry is amazing for a 12 year old.
Heather100
|
March 17, 2012
How heartening to read, despite all the cruelty and chaos that exist, something written in the clear-headed, empathic voice of a child. Thank you.