Memento Mori

On the eve of remembrance day
for the six million souls
to remind us what’s left to pay
of what humankind stole

Remember the shoes without feet
hair faithfully braided
Their bodies, consumed by the heat
I wish we had aided
in kind.

By Nikodem Nijaki – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Today Grace hosts at dVerse where one ot the options is to create a poem in a form called Memento:

Memento, created by Emily Romano is a poem about a holiday or an anniversary, consisting of two stanzas as follows: the syllable count should be 8 beats for line one; 6 beats for line two; and two beats for line three. This is repeated twice for each stanza. The rhyme scheme is: a/b/c/a/b/c for each of the two stanzas.

Tomorrow is the annual Holocaust memorial day which made me think the form would fit perfectly for this. Also, the title is in itself a reference to the form and a reminder of the inevitability of death.

Sorry for being less than cheerful, it seems to be a lot of sorrowful words given to you from me.

January 26, 2023

23 responses to “Memento Mori

  1. How beautifully touching Bjorn. It is a reminder of how many lives we have lost with that # of shoes photo, bringing this haunting remembrance to life. You have made this form come alive with the timely message.

  2. This is incredibly deep and poignant, Bjorn! The poem serves as such a stark reminder of the inevitability of death. 🌹

  3. Bjorn, I’m glad you posted this, it is needed. Mrs. Jim is watching on TV a program detailing the going’s on for Austwick prison camp. We visited there also, several years ago. It is a very serene place.
    BTW, not Jewish, but Mrs. Jim’s older brother was shot down over Italy and he was killed by Germans in WWII.

  4. What a coincidence! My poem has the same title. Yours is really hard-hitting though, I didn’t know that remembrance day is tomorrow, thanks for sharing.

  5. Oh–we both wrote for International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Very well done. It is difficult to write on such an enormous atrocity. The memorial is haunting.

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