Mine would be Der Panther from Rainer Maria Rilke (1902) translated in English :
His gaze, made tired from the passing of the bars,
cannot be held by anything.
It seems to him, as if there were a thousand bars,
as if behind the thousand bars there were no world.
The soft gait of smoothly powerful strides,
that turn within the smallest circle possible,
is like a dance of force around a center,
which holds the strongest will, benumbed.
Rarely the curtain of his pupils shifts,
and soundlessly a picture moves inside,
moves through the silent tenseness of his limbs,
to cease within the chambers of his heart.
Most Helpful Girl
Niemöller is perhaps best remembered for the quotation:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
And the butterfly by pavel friedman
The original butterfly
He was the last. Truly the last.
Such yellowness was bitter and blinding
Like the sun’s tear shattered on stone.
That was his true colour.
And how easily he climbed, and how high,
Certainly, climbing, he wanted
To kiss the last of my world.
I have been here seven weeks,
Who loved me have found me,
Daisies call to me,
And the branches also of the white chestnut in the yard.
But I haven’t seen a butterfly here.
That last one was the last one.
There are no butterflies, here, in the ghetto.
And the second version he made
The Butterfly #2
The last, the very last,
So richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow.
Perhaps if the sun's tears would sing
against a white stone...
Such, such a yellow
Is carried lightly ‘way up high.
It went away I'm sure because it wished
to kiss the world goodbye.
For seven weeks I've lived in here,
Penned up inside this ghetto
But I have found my people here.
The dandelions call to me
And the white chestnut candles in the court.
Only I never saw another butterfly.
That butterfly was the last one.
Butterflies don't live in here,
In the ghetto.0