Primo Levi : If this a man

IF THIS A MAN

PRIMO LEVI


Here, then, is my translation from the Italian of Primo Levi's "If This Is a Man":

You who live safe
In your warm houses;
You who find on returning in the evening
Hot food and friendly faces:
Consider if this is a man
Who works in the mud
Who knows no peace
Who fights for a bit of bread
Who dies because of a yes and because of a no
Consider if this is a woman,
Without hair and without name
Without enough strength to remember
Vacant eyes and cold womb
Like a frog in the winter:
Reflect on the fact that this has happened:
These words I commend to you:
Inscribe them on your heart
When staying at home and going out,
Going to bed and rising up;
Repeat them to your children:
Or may your house fall down,
Illness bar your way,
Your loved ones turn away from you.