Sean Street

At the Grodzka Gate


Lublin‘s Grodszka Gate was once the divide between
the Polish town‘s Christian and Jewish Communities.
During WW II, 43,000 Jewish citizens were murdered
by the Nazis and the district erased.

I walk through a gate beyond which there‘s nothing
but small islands of faintly luminous light
though these soon fade.

I write your name by hand here
and in so doing reclaim you for the world
you who were orphaned too long in that pale space.

Your name takes my hand, speaks itself.
through the gate from the erased normality
of your life when there was tomorrow we walk
into the sweet plain prose of the everyday
that stands side by side with the unspeakable.

Seán Street’s collections include Camera Obscura (Rockingham Press, 2016) and
the prose trilogy, The Poetry of Radio, The Memory of Sound and Sound Poetics
(Routledge/Palgrave Macmillan). He is currently writing Sound at the Edge of
Perception, to be published by Palgrave later this year. He is Emeritus Professor at
Bournemouth University.

He can be heard reading this poem
at At the Grodzka Gate.wav

See his entry on the Acumen
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