Saturday, October 08, 2005

Hannah Senesh

I wrote the following poem while involved with a work-study program at Kibbutz Sdot Yam ("Fields of the Sea" mentioned in Leon Uris' book Exodus concerning "illegal immigration") after reading Hannah Senesh's diary found at Sdot Yam where she was a kibbutz member. Hannah Senesh is an Israeli heroine originally from Hungary, a paratrooper who was caught and later murdered by the Nazis just before the end of the war.

Oh Hannah, Dear Hannah,
The daughter of Judah's kings,
The princess of many poems,
The queen of whom stories gleam -
What more could I write of you,
Compose another melody?

A gem polished by destiny,
Our heritage, our precious legacy...
Whenever we think of you
It causes such personal grief,
But remembering your strong character
We're renewed in national strength.

Oh Hannah, Dear Hannah,
Our sister unseen -
Your heroic wonder and awe
Within our hearts will never cease.

David Ben-Ariel
Oct. 10, 1989
Kibbutz Sdot Yam, Israel
(a copy of this poem rests at Sdot Yam's memorial to Hannah Senesh)

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