I Want You To Remember Me

Elie Wiesel, The Gates Of The Forest

Normally I start with a poem or a quote and if I am adding commentary it comes after the first poem.  Today’s text deserves a little explanation.  I am in the process of getting ready to move this fall and have begun sorting even more aggressively through the last boxes of my Mother’s possessions that have been stored at my condo.  My mother was a letter writer and as it happens, if you are a talented correspondent, you receive lots of letters and cards in return. In going through her boxes and boxes and boxes of cards and letters, sorting and keeping only a few, I came across an unmarked purple envelope that wasn’t sealed Wednesday night. In opening it up, in my mother’s impeccable hand writing, was this quote with the dried rose staining the paper.  I suspect it was a card she was sending in condolence to someone but for whatever reason had not mailed but it could have other explanations. Obviously it was a quote that moved her.  Whether she had any idea that the card would become a time capsule waiting for me to open with its poignant message I can only imagine, but it seems like it was destined for me to find among a jumble of Christmas cards from over the years.

There are writers who write fiction or screen plays who give their characters the best lines of poetry as dialogue. Wiesel is definitely one of them. To hear directly from Elie Wiesel and learn more about his life and work, I highly recommend the interview by Krista Tippet on her show On Being, a link to it is below:

Evil, Forgiveness, and Prayer | Elie Wiesel

The Gates Of The Forest

By Elie Wiesel

Suddenly he fell silent; winner or loser, Gregor didn’t know. He could still see his grandfather’s lips moving as they said, “Don’t be afraid, my child. Madmen are just wandering messengers, and without them the world couldn’t endure. Without them there would be no surprise; they surprise even the Creator because they escape from Him and regard Him with pity. Their mission on earth? To persuade us that we don’t know how to count, that numbers deceive or trap us. Are you listening?” And heavy-heartedly Gregor answered, “Yes, Grandfather, I’m listening. I think I’ve lived only for this encounter and for this night.” He could hardly hear him whispering, “That, my child, is true of all encounters, of every night.”

The Gates Of The Forest

By Elie Wiesel

Gregor’s Grandfather Speaking:

“Later on, when I am no longer of this world, I want you to remember me and the flame that makes me live. I am a farmer and so I know the usefulness of a gentle rain that causes wheat and other fruits of the earth to grow. But the the human soul isn’t like the earth; the soul needs storm and fire and dizziness.  The body has time; it moves slowly and prudently, step by step in obedience to laws of gravity.  But the soul brushes time and laws aside; it wants to push forward, regardless of the cost in pain, or intoxication or even madness.” 

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A Sonnet Obsession

I am a life-long Minnesotan who resides in Minneapolis. I hope you enjoy my curated selection of sonnets, short poems and nerdy ruminations. I am pleased to offer Fourteenlines as an ad and cookie free poetry resource, to allow the poetry to be presented on its own without distractions. Fourteenlines is a testament to the power of the written word, for anyone wanting a little more poetry in their life.

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