Michael Rosen celebrates Anne Frank’s anniversary

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Michael Rosen celebrates Anne Frank’s anniversary with new poem
Former Children’s Award winner Michael Rosen has penned a new poem to mark the 75th anniversary of the release of The Diary of Anne Frank.

The title of the poem is Sonnet for Anne Frank; Rosen wrote in this form, he said, because sonnets have “a certain kind of dignity” and “give you time to reflect”.
Rosen directly addresses Frank in writing poetry, “You compressed so much life in that scaffolding”, but that “every time we read, we struggle to enjoy life / Knowing that How did it end”.

Rosen said: “I have found an unresolved dilemma in the poem, which is that in the diary you are reading a man who is so alive and full of hope and life’s details and problems, from the point of view of a teenager, but this It’s almost impossible to read it without thinking about its terrible fate. So there’s a terrifying contradiction between the diary’s lively spirit and the knowledge you have.

“[The poem] makes room for the reader to pay attention to that contradiction, which is painful enough in itself. You laugh a lot with Anne Frank, and you think she’s having fun at the neighbors’ expense, And then you have this simultaneous experience of being horrified by a sudden terrifying ending.

“And that’s why it ends at the word ‘finished’.”
Frank found a blank diary for his 13th birthday on 12 June 1942, and wrote in it while he and his family were hiding in a secret annex above his father Otto’s workplace in Amsterdam.

After the family is discovered by the Nazis, Otto’s secretary Miep Gies finds the diary in the annexe. When the war ended, Gies gave it to Otto, the only member of the family to survive the Holocaust, and he decided to publish it, as Anne wished. When translated from Dutch into English, the book’s title became The Diary of a Young Girl.

The poem was commissioned by the Anne Frank Trust, an education charity that teaches youth to challenge prejudice.

Rosen, a longtime supporter of the Trust, is currently Professor of Children’s Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London. He served as the Children’s Award winner from 2007 to 2009.

As well as the children’s poems and the classic picture book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, her books include The Missing: The True Story of My Family in World War II, which was released in 2020 and the family members who died. was detected. In the catastrophe

Sonnet for Anne Frank by Michael Rosen
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Since you took us to that attic space
No room has been the same under the eagle.
Wherever we go – our homes or others’ –
Whenever we dip under the beam and duck
You are in the shadows, writing the pages
laugh, cry, eat, dare to love
Imagining a better world than you.
How you wrote, we think we know you.

You compressed so much life in that scaffold
What we care about and love you for
Yet the real world – not the one you imagined –
Not allowed you to live and write.
Every time we read, we struggle to enjoy
Your love of life knowing how it ended.


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