Anne Frank Huis
Even now, after twice her lifetime of grief
and anger in the very place, whoever comes
to climb these narrow stairs, discovers how
the bookcase slides aside, then walks through
shadow into sunlit rooms, can never help
but break her secrecy again. Just listening
is a kind of guilt: the Westerkerk repeats
itself outside, as if all time worked round
towards her fear, and made each stroke
die down on guarded streets. Imagine it —
Three years of whispering and loneliness
and plotting, day by day, the Allied line
in Europe with a yellow chalk. What hope
she had for ordinary love and interest
survives her her, displayed above the bed
as pictures of her family; some actors;
fashions chosen by Princess Elizabeth.
And those who stoop to see them find
not only patience missing its reward,
but one enduring wish for chances
like my own: to leave as simply
as I do, and walk at ease
up dusty tree-lined avenues, or watch
a silent barge come clear of bridges
settling their reflections in the blue canal.
Plot –As the poet (whoever) enters Anne Frank’s hideaway, the poem begins to reveal a mere fraction of the continuous dread and fear undergone by Anne because of her Jewish nationality. After describing the life she led confined to the narrow space behind the bookcase, the poet leaves; bearing in mind of all that he is blessed with, compared to Anne.
Setting –Clearly the poem’s setting dates back to the reign of Hitler’s rule where the Nazis occupied the streets of Netherland and the Jewish community had to seek refuge in order to save their lives from this German ruler.
The poet has skillfully described Anne’s hideaway to be a narrow space of discomfort disguised from the rest of the world by a bookcase, found in the upstairs of a building. This place of safety has been decorated with pictures of Anne’s family, couple of actors and fashion inspired by Princess Elizabeth; the common interests of a teenage... [continues]
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