The French writer and aviator Antoine de SaintExupery (1900–1944)  disappeared on July 31st 1944 while flying a reconnaissance mission over occupied France during World War II. The Israel poet Dahila Ravikovitch wrote this beautiful poem in his memory. It is interesting to note that she made a mistake, his plane disappeared in 1944 and not in 1943.

In Memory of Antoine de Saint Exupery by Dahlia Ravikovitch

Translated by Orna Raz

 

A ghastly shining moon

reminded me in the middle of the night

how in forty three died

Antoine

de Saint Exupery.

*

Now it has been twenty-one years

and pieces of paper are flying in the wind,

and for twenty-one years

the sea turns blue every spring,

now twenty-one years

and all his bones have turned into sand.

Twenty-one,

twenty-one,

and whoever is alive today is without him.

Twenty-one years ago

his plane fell into the Mediterranean sea,

shaking amidst the strong spring winds.

*

The world is not what it was

weeds and wind,

wind and sand.

This surely is the look of the world

that no longer has Saint Exupery.

*

People don’t live forever

and we too are not forever

but was he saved that one time in March of forty-three,

he would be with us

a shiny grain,

a rose in the wind

Laughing in the clouds.