Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Wislawa Szymborska: "A Note"

Life is the only way
to get covered in leaves,
catch your breath on the sand,
rise on wings;

to be a dog,
or stroke its warm fur;

to tell pain
from everything it’s not;

to squeeze inside events,
dawdle in views,
to seek the least of all possible mistakes.

An extraordinary chance
to remember for a moment
a conversation held
with the lamp switched off;

and if only once
to stumble upon a stone,
end up soaked in one downpour or another,

mislay your keys in the grass;
and to follow a spark on the wind with your eyes;

and to keep on not knowing
something important.

"A Note" by Wislawa Szymborska, from Monologue of a Dog. Translated from the Polish by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh. © Harcourt, 2005.

Visit this link to read the original poem in Polish, along with a translation by Danuta E. Kosk-Kosicka. 

Photography credit: Detail from untitled image by unknown photographer (originally color).


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