Sunday, June 7, 2009

Plays for Young People

When I was younger, I acted in I Never Saw Another Butterfly - a play by Celeste Rapsanti based on the poetry of Jewish children from Terezin. I can still remember the words of the title poem:
I never saw another butterfly . . .
The last, the very last,
so richly, brightly, dazzling yellow.
Perhaps if the sun's tears sing
against a white stone . . .
Such, such a yellow
Is carried lightly `way up high.
It went away I'm sure because it
wished to kiss the world goodbye.
For seven weeks I've lived in here,
Penned up inside this ghetto,
but I have found my people here.
The dandelions call to me,
And the white chestnut candles in the court.
Only I never saw another butterfly.
That butterfly was the last one.
Butterflies don't live here in the ghetto.
I often think of the play and how it was simultaneously beautiful and horrific--wishing that I could see it again as an adult. The book, I Never Saw Another Butterfly, highlights the art work and poetry of children in Terezin.