Go To Treblinka Commentary Essay

779 words - 4 pages

Go to Treblinka Commentary

In the poem ‘Go to Treblinka’ Halina Birenbaum writes about the horrific nature of the World War II death camp, Treblinka. This commentary will look at the poem as a whole and how the writer uses specific techniques and tone to create feelings of sorrow and mourning.

Birenbaum uses anaphora, the words “Go to Treblinka” become a refrain through the course of the poem and is used eight times. The imperative nature of the refrain is emphasized by the word ‘Go.’ The word is also an action verb giving the poem a feeling of necessity. The stanzas in the poem are also quite disorderly and creates a feeling of chaos representing the chaos of war. The stanzas also ...view middle of the document...

The third stanza begins with “go by your own free will” which is contradictory towards the ideas presented in the previous stanzas. This juxtaposition of ideas further emphasizes the need to go to Treblinka. In the line “power of pain” there is the use of alliteration, the letter p emphasizes the depth of the pain suffered at Treblinka. In the final lines of the stanza there is another reference to the senses where the poet writes “with all your senses” once again taking the reader emotionally to Treblinka, instead of physically.

The fourth stanza introduces the idea of the life cycle especially referencing the seasons at the beginning of the stanza. Birenbaum writes “the green silence, golden or white which embrace them each season of the year.” The green silence referring to both spring and summer, the golden referring to autumn and the white referring to winter. The word “embrace” also shows how the seasons surround the dead and continue to change however they remain still and unchanging. The change in tense in the poem, where the poet writes “life which became” further emphasizing the idea of changing seasons.

The fifth stanza again initiates with the anaphora and then continues on to say...

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