As I talked about in this post, Nolan and I have been watching The World At War on DVD. This poem, read by Sir Laurence Olivier, particularly struck me as a father with a young son. It’s heartbreaking in its simplicity and emotion.
Do Not Call Me, Father
Anonymous, Soviet Union, 1942
(Son to father…)
Do not call me, father. Do not seek me.
Do not call me. Do not wish me back.
We’re on a route uncharted, fire and blood erase our track.
On we fly on wings of thunder, never more to sheath our swords.
All of us in battle fallen – not to be brought back by words.
Will there be a rendezvous? I know not. I only know we still must fight.
We are sand grains in infinity, never to meet, nevermore to see light.
(Father to son…)
Farewell then my son. Farewell then my conscience.
Farewell my youth, my solace, my one-and-only.
Let this farewell be the end of a story
Of solitude past which now is more lonely.
In which you remained barred forever from light,
From air, with your death pains untold.
Untold and unsoothed, never to be resurrected.
Forever and ever an 18 year old.
No trains ever come from those regions,
Unscheduled and scheduled.
No aeroplanes fly there.
Farewell then my son,
For no miracles happen, as in this world
Dreams do not come true.
I will dream of you still as a baby,
Treading the earth with little strong toes,
The earth where already so many lie buried.
This song to my son, then, is come to its close.