|The last, the very last,|
So richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow.
Perhaps if the sun’s tears would sing
against a white stone....
|Such, such a yellow|
Is carried lightly ’way up high.
It went away I’m sure
because it wished
to kiss the world good-bye.
|For seven weeks I’ve lived in here,|
Penned up inside this ghetto.
But I have found what I love here.
The dandelions call to me
And the white chestnut branches in the court.
Only I never saw another butterfly.
|That butterfly was the last one.|
Butterflies don’t live in here, in the ghetto.
|Pavel Friedman, June 4, 1942|
|Born in Prague on Jan. 7, 1921.|
Deported to the Terezin Concentration Camp on April 26, 1942.
Died in Aushchwitz on Sept. 29, 1944.
Whether it was the fact that my early childhood was in a Jewish neighborhood, or that the mother of my first childhood "crush" was a survivor of the camps; I have always held a special place in my heart for the Jewish people and especially for the victims of the Holocaust. So when I heard about the Butterfly Project by the Holocaust Museum in Houston, it wasn't a question of "if" but "what" shall I make. The inspiration for this, was the poem itself. I tried to put myself in the ghetto or a camp, & think about what seeing a golden butterfly would represent. It would represent Hope of a life outside these walls, Freedom to fly wherever without fear or cruelty, and Life instead of death.
This is the piece I am sending for the Butterfly Project. You can learn more about it here.