Sarajevo

by Czeslaw Milosz | October 25, 1993

Now, when a revolution is really needed, those who were once
fervent are cool.

While a country, raped and murdered, calls for help from the Europe
it trusted,

While statesmen choose villainy and no voice is raised to call it by
its name.

It was a sham, the rebellion of the young who cried for a new earth,
and that generation has written the verdict on itself,

Listening with indifference to the cries of those who perish
because they are just barbarians killing each other

And the lives of the well-fed are worth more than the
lives of the starving.

It is revealed now that their Europe has been, since the beginning,
a deception, for its faith and its foundation is nothingness.

Nothingness, as the prophets keep saying, brings forth only nothingness
and they will be led once again like cattle to slaughter.

Let them tremble and at the last moment let them comprehend that the
word Sarajevo from now on will mean the destruction of their sons and
the debasement of their daughters.

They have prepared it by repeating "We at least are safe," unaware that
what will strike them ripens within them.

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//article/poetry/89507/sarajevo-poem