Archive for May 11th, 2012

May 11, 2012

The Joy of Writing

Why does this written doe bound through these written woods?
For a drink of written water from a spring
whose surface will xerox her soft muzzle?
Why does she lift her head; does she hear something?
Perched on four slim legs borrowed from the truth,
she pricks up her ears beneath my fingertips.
Silence – this word also rustles across the page
and parts the boughs
that have sprouted from the word “woods.”

Lying in wait, set to pounce on the blank page,
are letters up to no good,
clutches of clauses so subordinate
they’ll never let her get away.

Each drop of ink contains a fair supply
of hunters, equipped with squinting eyes behind their sights,
prepared to swarm the sloping pen at any moment,
surround the doe, and slowly aim their guns.

They forget that what’s here isn’t life.
Other laws, black on white, obtain.
The twinkling of an eye will take as long as I say,
and will, if I wish, divide into tiny eternities,
full of bullets stopped in mid-flight.
Not a thing will ever happen unless I say so.
Without my blessing, not a leaf will fall,
not a blade of grass will bend beneath that little hoof’s full stop.

Is there then a world
where I rule absolutely on fate?
A time I bind with chains of signs?
An existence become endless at my bidding?

The joy of writing.
The power of preserving.
Revenge of a mortal hand.

Wislawa Szymborska

May 11, 2012

“Chwilami życie bywa znośne (Life is bearable. Sometimes)”

Idea

An idea came to me
for a little poem? a poem?
That’s good—I say—stay, let us talk.
You have to tell me more about yourself.
To which it whispers a few words in my ear.
Oh, that—I say—that is interesting.
These matters have long been at my heart.
But to write a poem about them? No, certainly not.
To which it whispers a few words in my ear.
It only seems to you—I reply—
you overestimate my strength and my gifts.
I wouldn’t even know where to start.
To which it whispers a few words in my ear.
You are mistaken—I say—a short, concise poem
is much harder to write than one that is long.
Don’t torment me, don’t insist, for it won’t work.
To which it whispers a few words in my ear.
Well, okay, I will try, since you’re so stubborn.
But  I must warn you what the outcome will be.
I will write, rip it up and throw it out.
To which it whispers a few words in my ear.
You are right—I say—there are still other poets.
Some of them will do this better than me.
I can give you the names, the addresses.
To which it whispers a few words in my ear.
Yes, certainly, I will be jealous of them.
We’re jealous of each other’s poems, even when they’re weak.
And this one probably should . . . perhaps it must have. . .
To which it whispers a few words in my ear.
That’s right, it must have the features that you named.
And so let’s change the subject.
Would you like some coffee?

To which it only sighed.

And started to disappear.

And disappeared.

- wislawa syzmborska

Wonder, silence, gratitude

one who is going upstream ......

SS24 - in search of the bull !

one who is going upstream ......

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