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Tadeusz Rozewicz (1921 - )
...is a well-respected Polish poet, playwright, and novelist known for his "naked poetry." Rozewicz served in World War II with the underground Home Army. Following the war, he became an influential poet, much revered by later generations of Polish writers. His work has focused on several
major themes, including the question of whether art is even possible after the horrors of World War II.



Pigtail

When all the women in the transport
had their heads shaved
four workmen with brooms made of birch
twigs
swept up
and gathered up the hair

Behind clean glass
the stiff hair lies
of those suffocated in gas chambers
there are pins and side combs
in this hair

The hair is not shot through with light
is not parted by the breeze
is not touched by any hand
or rain or lips

In huge chests
clouds of dry hair
of those suffocated
and a faded plait
a pigtail with a ribbon
pulled at school
by naughty boys.

The Museum, Auschwitz, 1948