Michael Rosen, who used to be the children’s laureate, has written a new poem to mark the 75th anniversary of when Anne Frank’s diary came out.
The poem is called “Sonnet for Anne Frank.” Rosen said he chose this form because sonnets have “a certain kind of dignity” and give you “time to think.”
Rosen writes directly to Frank in the poem, “You packed so much life into that loft,” but “every time we read, it’s hard to enjoy your love of life knowing how it ended.”
Marks Anne Frank Anniversary with New Poem!
Rosen said, “In the poem, I have an unsolved problem. In the diary, you read about a person who is so alive and full of hope and life’s details and problems from the point of view of a teenager, but it’s almost impossible to read it without thinking about what a terrible thing happened to her. ” So there is a terrible contradiction between the diary’s spirit and what you know.
“[The poem] gives the reader a chance to think about that paradox, which is painful in its own way.” And that’s why it ends on the word ‘ended.’ You laugh a lot with Anne Frank and think she’s having fun at the expense of her neighbors, and then all of a sudden you’re shocked by the terrible end.
On her 13th birthday, June 12, 1942, Frank got a blank diary. She wrote in it while she and her family were hiding in a secret room above her father’s office in Amsterdam.
Otto’s secretary, Miep Gies, found the diary in the annexe after the Nazis found the family. When the war was over, Gies gave it to Otto, who was the only family member to survive the Holocaust. Otto decided to publish it, just as Anne had wanted.
The book’s title in English, after it was translated from Dutch, was The Diary of a Young Girl.
The Anne Frank Trust, a Charity
The Anne Frank Trust, a charity that teaches young people to stand up to prejudice, asked for the poem to be written.
Rosen has been helping the trust for a long time. He teaches children’s literature at Goldsmiths, University of London. From 2007 to 2009, he was the children’s laureate.
Along with poems for children and the classic picture book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, he also wrote The Missing: The True Story of My Family in World War II, which came out in 2020 and looked for family members who died in the Holocaust.
Michael Rosen’s “Song for Anne Frank”
Sonnet for Anne Frank by Michael Rosen:
Since you took us to that attic space,
There has never been the same room under the eaves.
No matter where we go, our home or someone else’s,
Every time we bend and duck under beams,
If you are hiding and writing pages
Laughing, crying, eating, daring to love
I am thinking of a world that is better than yours.
Based on what you wrote, we feel like we know you.
So much life was packed into that loft.
which we spend hours reading and loving you for.
But the real world, not the one you made up, is not like that.
didn’t let you continue to live and write.
Every time we read, it’s hard to enjoy it.
your love for life, even though you know how it ends.