you may need some help because, I believe, you may not be familiar with some of the facts referred to in the poem. I note you were born in 1958, thirteen years after the great world war II.
Stanza (2) Belson and Buchenwald were extermination camps of Hitler, during the war, where millions of helpless Jews, men, women, children and babies were liquidated, killed in cold blood in gas chambers and by death squads. The steps of the jack boot worn by the German soldiers coming up the stairs to take them to their death and the clatter of the military trucks that drew up in front of their prisons to transport them to those death camps sent a chilling fear into those Jewish prisoners. We do not know their names but their memory lingers on as numbers annihilated by Hitler.
Stanza (3) In 1942 at the peak of the world war when food was scarce and rationed in India, there was a famine in Bengal where more than two million people died of starvation, most of them on the roadside pavements of the city of Calcutta.
Stanza (4) All those cities mentioned here were hit hard by bombing and almost razed to the ground, causing death and destruction and misery to those who inhabited those cities. Those cities were bombed both during day and night.
Stanza (5) we have no eyes but yours; i.e. ours, those living in the present, the survivors of the war. "They said we died for freedom" -- yes, that was what they were told they were fighting for, a war to restore freedom of expression, thought and word to restore democracy and all the values of a civilised society. "Let it not be a lie", what an anticipation of those who died for our future, for our freedom. They wanted us to make their dream true. But have we lived up to their hopes worthy of their sacrifice in the battle- fields of Asia and Europe?
Stanza (6) "Some of them died in Spain". Between 1936 and 1939 there was the Spanish civil war which brought the dictator General Franco to power, defeating forces of democracy. Volunteers from different nations joined with the democratic forces but they were defeated by the brutal force of dictatorship. Hitler's regime followed this.
Did I bother you too much about a single poem? Yes? No? A poem is a crystallised expression of a fertile mind and it deserves to be appreciated. You may reply if you find time and intention.
Till then, all the best to you and Rexlin.
43) About Guests and Hosts
“ Mankind is divided into two classes: hosts and guests!”
“ Fish and visitors smell in three days”
“ The first day a man is a guest, the second a burden, the third a pest.”
“ The ideal guest room does not have a guest in it.”
“ Once you accept an invitation, please show up within half an hour of the specified time.”
“ Once you are there, make every effort to meet and talk to all; It is not the time to act shy.”
“ Arrive with a nice gift as a token of appreciation.”
“ Unless otherwise offered, make your own transportation arrangement for arrival and departure.”
“ Don’t expect to be entertained every moment.”
“ No peeking into closets and cabinets, however curious you might be.”
“ Don’t even think of using the telephone, especially for long distance calls, without getting prior
“ Offer to help around the house. Be neat and clean up after sharing a bath room.”
“ Offer to take them out for a nice dinner.”
“ Don’t monopolise their TV.”
“ Show appreciation to the household staff ; they will welcome your smile and kind word and