I can forget her not!

She turns 14 today and shares her birthday with my Jewish godson many time zones apart. It seems like just yesterday that she arrived into this world, big eyes, looking out inquisitively, trying to learn something new every minute.

When she was 11 she wrote this other piece. I often wonder if by naming someone we give them just what their name means – hers literally means “of a good mind“.

Here is a poem she wrote last week – her version of a war poem by Keith Douglas, “Vergissmeinnicht” – forget me not!


The burning sun beat down unforgivingly
upon the rotting human carcasses
as we surveyed the unholy ground
where war was once waged.
A flash of memory: the soldier’s last moments
Charging towards our tank 
like one possessed,
Before we shot him down.
Now, beside him lay a fragment of his past-
A picture of his sweetheart.
Signed: Steffi. Vergissmeinicht.
A broken promise.
As we looked upon him indifferent, unmoved,
His own equipment seemed to mock him;
Glinting in the sunlight
as he began to fade.
He was now the stuff of her nightmares-
Festering, worsening.
Victim to nature’s forces,
an empty, decayed shell.
For here the lover and killer were one
Sharing a single body and heart.
He had fought and killed for his lover
‘Til death had done them apart.


Puru’s daughter, aged 14

Dr Purnendu Nath spends his waking hours focusing on helping individuals and organizations reach their goals, to make the world a better place. He speaks, writes and advises on topics such as finance, investment management, discipline, education, self-improvement, exercise, nutrition, health and fitness, leadership and parenting.


  1. Omg there’s so much depth in this poem that I’m amazed that it’s been written by Shuman when she was 11! Brilliant writing and emotional depth. I’m sure we’ll be buying her work off bookstores some day!


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