I have been transcribing (with help from friends) some handwritten poems by my grandfather, that my mother found. It is rather wonderful to have glimpses, through his poetry, of his inner world.
His name was Ernest Singer. He died before I was born and came to the UK from the Czech Republic. As a medical doctor, he was set to work after the war running a hospital in Germany.
These are his words, in a poem titled Germany 1946. I can feel as if there, taken back, with him.
What were the factories and dwelling places
Of what was once a proud and haughty nation
Present today, in countless cases,
A scene of utter desolation.
House upon house, row upon row
Where naught but empty shells now show
The girders twisted to bizarre design,
A mass of rubble in fantastic line.
And what still stands does so in gaunt array,
Whilst brick and marble crumble to decay,
While over it some windblown seed
Carpets the ruins with sprouting weed.