Potcake Poet’s Choice: Michael R. Burch, ‘Epitaph for a Palestinian Child’

I lived as best I could, and then I died.
Be careful where you step: the grave is wide.

Michael R. Burch writes: “This original epigram once returned over 90,000 results for its second line and still returned over 4,200 results the last time I checked. The epigram began as “Epitaph for a Child of the Holocaust” and was set to music by Sloane Simon after the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting.

It has been published by Romantics Quarterly, Poetry Super Highway, Mindful of Poetry, Poets for Humanity, The New Formalist, Angle, Daily Kos, Katutura English (Namibia), Genocide Awareness, Darfur Awareness Shabbat, Viewing Genocide in Sudan, Setu (India), Brief Poems, Better Than Starbucks and ArtVilla; also translated into Romanian by Petru Dimofte, into Turkish by Nurgül Yayman, into Czech by Z J Pinkava, into Indonesian by A. J. Anwar.”

Michael R. Burch has over 6,000 publications, including poems that have gone viral. His poems have been translated into fourteen languages, incorporated into three plays and two operas, and set to music by seventeen composers. He also edits TheHyperTexts.

“ICU child Shifa hospital, Gaza” by Kashklick is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

5 thoughts on “Potcake Poet’s Choice: Michael R. Burch, ‘Epitaph for a Palestinian Child’

  1. Michael Burch

    Thanks for publishing this poem, which may be the one I’m remembered by, if I’m remembered at all. More importantly, the poem speaks for some of the most oppressed human beings on our planet: Palestinian children.


  2. Robin Helweg-Larsen Post author

    I found it interesting that the epigram was originally written (if I understand correctly) with Jewish Holocaust children in mind. The ironies of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are endless and appalling.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michael Burch

      Yes, I originally wrote the epigram for a child of the Holocaust. When I discovered the reality of what was happening to Palestinian children, and how my tax dollars were being used to fund and support ethnic cleansing, I began dedicating the poem to Palestinian children. I have translated and published poems written by Jewish children during the Holocaust and by Palestinian children today, and they are very similar in outlook: bleak, bleak, bleak.

      Liked by 1 person


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