Posts filed under ‘Wislawa Szymborska’
Listen (to Black Mamba read)
He came home. Said nothing.
It was clear, though, that something had gone wrong.
He lay down fully dressed.
Pulled the blanket over his head.
Tucked up his knees.
He’s nearly forty, but not at the moment.
He exists just as he did inside his mother’s womb,
clad in seven walls of skin, in sheltered darkness.
Tomorrow he’ll give a lecture
on homeostasis in metagalactic cosmonautics.
For now, though, he has curled up and gone to sleep.
Retreating back to your mother’s womb – life can make you crave that space, at times. All the things you have done and achieved just can’t buy you, what you are dying for. There is just not enough homeostasis in the metagalaxy to comfort you. But then you wake up, walk the walk, talk the talk and the you everyone knows – is just fine.
note: Oh, Szymborska! again? you ask. :) Long answer : We like, we post :)
I owe so much
to those I don’t love.
The relief as I agree
that someone else needs them more.
The happiness that I’m not
the wolf to their sheep.
The peace I feel with them,
the freedom —
love can neither give
nor take that.
I don’t wait for them,
as in window-to-door-and-back.
Almost as patient
as a sundial,
what love can’t.
as love never would.
From a rendezvous to a letter
is just a few days or weeks,
not an eternity.
Trips with them always go smoothly,
concerts are heard,
scenery is seen.
And when seven hills and rivers
come between us,
the hills and rivers
can be found on any map.
They deserve the credit
if I live in three dimensions,
in nonlyrical and nonrhetorical space
with a genuine, shifting horizon.
They themselves don’t realize
how much they hold in their empty hands.
“I don’t owe them a thing,”
would be love’s answer
to this open question.
Tr. from Polish by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh
Capturing the forgotten (moments, people, feelings, incidents). That is something Szymborska can do with such elegance.
This poem, for instance, thanks people who make life normal. Life is not always high drama and a torrent of emotions. For every garb in expensive fine silk, you need ten others in simple cotton. And making a perfect cotton dress needs an artist just as skilled, if not more.