A Selection from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Poem “Who Am I?” – written in 1944 while in prison

Who am I? This man or that other?

Am I then this man today and tomorrow another?

Am I both all at once? An imposter to others,

but to me little more than a whining, despicable weakling?

Does what is in me compare to a vanquished army,

that flees in disorder before a battle already won?


Who am I? They mock me these lonely questions of mine.

Whoever I am, you know me, O God. You know I am yours.[1]

[1] Bonhoeffer, Kelly, and Nelson, A Testament to Freedom, 514.