THE CONFESSION

The Confession
Here now I step across a grave, my own –
Now, Hutten, won’t you your confession make?
It’s a Christian custom. I’ll beat my breast.
What person has no consciousness of guilt?
How I regret my late-come sense of duty!
Regret my heart did not burn hot enough!
Regret I did not enter into battle
With sharper blows and with far greater zeal!
Regret the hour when I no armour wore!
Regret the day I struck no wounding blow!
Regret – and ashes on my head I strew –
That my belief in winning wasn’t stronger!
Regret that only one time I was banished!
Regret that often I knew human fears!
And, overcome now with remorse, regret
I was not always true to being Hutten!

Is this not written with brazen hammer blows? I clasp your hand firmly and with all my heart,
Your Rosa

– Rosa Luxemburg, ‘Letter to Henriette Roland Holst (17 December, 1904)’, in Georg Adler et al. (eds.), The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg (London: Verso, 2011), pp. 184-85.

3 comments

  1. offerisalways@googlemail.com · · Reply

    Read once every morning to live a fuller life

    >

    Like

  2. Yes! It’s a real wake up call

    Like

  3. Thanks for posting this beautiful poem. I am planning to translate it into Polish, and comparing the various English translations is very helpful. Cheers! (PS. Rosa Luxemburg brought me here).

    Liked by 1 person

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