Monday, February 16, 2004

More Szymborska goodness--

Some Like Poetry

Some -
thus not all. Not even the majority of all but the minority.
Not counting schools, where one has to,
and the poets themselves,
there might be two people per thousand.

Like -
but one also likes chicken soup with noodles,
one likes compliments and the color blue,
one likes an old scarf,
one likes having the upper hand,
one likes stroking a dog.

Poetry -
but what is poetry.
Many shaky answers
have been given to this question.
But I don't know and don't know and hold on to it
like to a sustaining railing.

Translated by Regina Grol

* * *

Under One Small Star

My apologies to chance for calling it necessity.
My apologies to necessity if I'm mistaken, after all.
Please, don't be angry, happiness, that I take you as my due.
May my dead be patient with the way my memories fade.
My apologies to time for all the world I overlook each second.
My apologies to past loves for thinking that the latest is the first.
Forgive me, distant wars, for bringing flowers home.
Forgive me, open wounds, for pricking my finger.
I apologize for my record of minuets to those who cry from the depths.
I apologize to those who wait in railway stations for being asleep today at five a.m.
Pardon me, hounded hope, for laughing from time to time.
Pardon me, deserts, that I don't rush to you bearing a spoonful of water.
And you, falcon, unchanging year after year, always in the same cage,
your gaze always fixed on the same point in space,
forgive me, even if it turns out you were stuffed.
My apologies to the felled tree for the table's four legs.
My apologies to great questions for small answers.
Truth, please don't pay me much attention.
Dignity, please be magnanimous.
Bear with me, O mystery of existence, as I pluck the occasional thread from your train.
Soul, don't take offense that I've only got you now and then.
My apologies to everything that I can't be everywhere at once.
My apologies to everyone that I can't be each woman and each man.
I know I won't be justified as long as I live,
since I myself stand in my own way.
Don't bear me ill will, speech, that I borrow weighty words,
then labor heavily so that they may seem light.

* * *

First Love

They say
the first love is the most important.
That's very romantic
but it's not the case with me.

There was something between us yet there wasn't.
It transpired and expired.

My hands don't tremble,
when I stumble upon small mementos
or a stack of letters wrapped in twine
—not even a ribbon.

Our only meeting after all these years
is a conversation between two chairs
at a cold table.

Other loves
still breathe deeply within me.
This one lacks the breath to sigh.

But still, just the way it is,
it can do what the rest are not yet able to do:
not even dreamt of
it accustoms me to death.

- (translated by Joanna Trzeciak )

* * *

My first experience of Szymborska was in college -- she was the topic of a friend's senior thesis. He made me read One Small Star and it didn't really affect me as much back then as it does now.

* * *

With compre out of the way, I can now focus on living a life --

- Having coffee with G on Wednesday to catch up.
- Am building a new deck for VtES.
- I bought new shoes that I can walk faster in ^_^ (ah, they are a lovely and perfect pair of shoes -am glad I found them).
- Bought book 4 of the Princess Diaries series (would've gotten more, but I brought the wrong wallet and I didn't have my discount card) and a friend is lending me the Earthsea series.

There is also the videoke get-together with sina E.

And so many birthdays in the next three weeks! ^_^

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