Poem: ‘There is no news from Auschwitz’


This poem from Sonia Sanchez’s new “Collected Poems” first appeared in “Under a Soprano Sky,” a book I ordered living in solitary confinement in a Virginia prison. The first poetry collection I bought, that book became all clichés to me: my life raft, my rope, my amulet, my four-leaf clover. From the history of MOVE bombing to reminding me of the horrors of Auschwitz, I got that from “Soprano Sky”. After so many years, I can find myself flipping through these pages in my sleep, amazed and worried about what words can do – astonished to find so many worlds that I would throw in the lines that were saving me. . Selected by Reginald Dwayne Bates

new York Times Article by AM Rosenthal, 1958

by Sonia Sanchez

with that funeral ground
Green erases old waves
who closed his eyes
and tangled flowers veil ville kennel dust
handed over in the morning.
year is done.
Bear leaning towards the canals
Woven-eyed repentant sterile gut
While the bone-filled effusion that spilled blood
Others give birth.
There is no death: no special people
trailing alien den,
or children walking in the rain of ashes
Solving the mind
Life is not there: not even the myths that ride
young stallion for circus tent
and carried torches on a convent wire
beyond the tide.
There is no other sign that men patrol with chains
Sea sheets.
I mourn my empty ships.
No news from Auschwitz.

Reginald Dwayne Bates He is a poet and a lawyer. He created the Million Book Project, an initiative to curate microlibraries and install them in prisons across the country. His latest collection of poems, “Phelan”, explores the experience after imprisonment. In 2019, he won a National Magazine Award in Essay and Criticism for his article in The Times Magazine, which was about the journey from teenage carjacker to aspiring lawyer. Sonia Sanchez He is a poet, writer, playwright, professor and activist. She was a prominent figure in the black arts movement during the 1960s and 1970s and is the author of more than a dozen books of poetry, plays, short stories and children’s books.



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