(To all the Jews in the world, my friends, my brethren)
Those infernal poets
Dante, Blake, Rimbaud...
Let them speak quietly...
Let them be silent!
any inhabitant of these earth
understands more about hell
than those three bards together.
I know Dante is a gifted violinist...
Ah, a great virtuoso!
But do not dare to attempt now,
with your amazing stanzasand perfect hendecasyllables,
to frighten that Jewish boy
who is standing there, extricated from his parents...
Awaiting his turnin the Auschwitz crematorium.
Dante... you descended to hell by the hand of Virgil
(Oh Virgil, the "great cicerone")
and that Divine Comedy of yours
was an amusing adventure
of music and tourism.
This is something else... something else...
How can I explain?
If you don’t have an imagination!
You... do not have an imagination,
remember that in your "inferno"
there is not a single child...
But that one over there...
He is alone
Alone! Without cicerone...
Waiting for the gates to a hell to open
that you, poor Florentine!
Could not even imagine
This is something else... How can I explain?
Look! This is a place where you can not play the violin
Here, the strings of every
violin in the world get broken
Have you understood, Infernal Poets?
Virgil, Dante, Blake, Rimbaud...
Play your instruments quietly! Shht!...
I am too a great virtuoso
And have played many a time in hell...
But now, here...
I shatter my violin... and keep silent.
Translated by Moises F. Salinas