Great Geworfenheit, this might be the most transportive collection ever, but how would we know Certainly we encounter collections by other poets, but we ve changed in the interim, haven t we Our ability to objectify is awash in the flux Our throwness keeps us ever on edge, estranged albeit sheltered The moments of our life are formless unless we are there peering over Arendt s bannister to afford them as time Biological time has yet to be translated, some haggle over rights and tenure.
This is my second encounter with Szymborska and I trust her She s glib yet somehow silent, she quips about utility and objects and detail fade into constructions, compounds Past tense rumors or possibilities I highly recommend her work.
Love at First Sight They re both convincedthat a sudden passion joined them.
Such certainty is beautiful,but uncertainty isbeautiful still.
Since they d never met before, they re surethat there d been nothing between them.
But what s the word from the streets, staircases, hallways perhaps they ve passed by each other a million times I want to ask themif they don t remember a moment face to facein some revolving door perhaps a sorry muttered in a crowd a curt wrong number caught in the receiver but I know the answer.
No, they don t remember.
They d be amazed to hearthat Chance has been toying with themnow for years.
Not quite ready yetto become their Destiny,it pushed them close, drove them apart,it barred their path,stifling a laugh,and then leaped aside.
There were signs and signals,even if they couldn t read them yet.
Perhaps three years agoor just last Tuesdaya certain leaf flutteredfrom one shoulder to another Something was dropped and then picked up.
Who knows, maybe the ball that vanishedinto childhood s thicket There were doorknobs and doorbellswhere one touch had covered anotherbeforehand.
Suitcases checked and standing side by side.
One night, perhaps, the same dream,grown hazy by morning.
Every beginningis only a sequel, after all,and the book of eventsis always open halfway through.
Parting with a ViewI don t reproach the springfor starting up again.
I can t blame itfor doing what it mustyear after year.
I know that my griefwill not stop the green.
The grass blade may bendbut only in the wind.
It doesn t pain me to seethat clumps of alders above the waterhave something to rustle with again.
I take note of the factthat the shore of a certain lakeis still as if you were living as lovely as before.
I don t resentthe view for its vistaof a sun dazzled bay.
I am even able to imaginesome non ussitting at this minuteon a fallen birch trunk.
I respect their rightto whisper, laugh,and lapse into happy silence.
I can even allowthat they are bound by loveand that he holds herwith a living arm.
Something freshly birdishstarts rustling in the reeds.
I sincerely want themto hear it.
I don t require changesfrom the surf,now diligent, now sluggish,obeying not me.
I expect nothingfrom the depths near the woods,first emerald,then sapphire,then black.
There s one thing I won t agree to my own return.
The privilege of presence I give it up.
I survived you by enough,and only by enough,to contemplate from afar Other favorites were The Joy of WritingCould HaveHermitageThe Century s DeclineConversation with a StoneCommemoration This was my first book of poetry I felt intimidated going into it but I dove in anyway because I read her poem Possibilities somewhere else and I loved it I ll be readingpoetry now thanks to Szymborska I don t know much about poetry but I feel like this book was a success because I genuinely enjoyed and dog eared 38 out of her 165 poems.
POSSIBILITIES I prefer movies I prefer cats I prefer the oaks along the Warta I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky I prefer myself liking people to myself loving mankind I prefer keeping a needle and thread on hand, just in case I prefer the color green I prefer not to maintain that reason is to blame for everything I prefer exceptions I prefer to leave early I prefer talking to doctors about something else I prefer the old fine lined illustrations I prefer the absurdity of writing poems to the absurdity of not writing poems I prefer, where love s concerned, nonspecific anniversaries that can be celebrated every day I prefer moralists who promise me nothing I prefer cunning kindness to the overtrustful kind I prefer the earth in civvies I prefer conquered to conquering countries I prefer having some reservations I prefer the hell of chaos to the hell of order I prefer the Grimms fairy tales to the newspapers front pages I prefer leaves without flowers to flowers without leaves I prefer dogs with uncropped tails I prefer light eyes, since mine are dark I prefer desk drawers I prefer many things that I haven t mentioned here to many things I ve also left unsaid.
I prefer zeros on the loose to those lined up behind a cipher I prefer the time of insects to the time of stars I prefer to knock on wood I prefer not to ask how much longer and when I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being.
I stumbled upon Wislawa Symborska a while ago and I am grateful If I talk about a certain poet being the voice of America, or of nature, it is specific, limited and based on my unquestionably non expert opinion But I think I am right here This poet is a voice of humanity brave, funny, serious, aware, in awe, and unable to put down She knows how to be playful, and when and where to use it to make us smile, and then where to drop the guillotine of meaning and insight She is not sappy, nor sentimental she is intense, alert, genuine She mixes wonder with practicality and dreams with reality, political, personal, natural, unnaturalI understand what love can t, and forgive as love never would if I live in three dimensions, in nonlyrical and nonrhetorical space with a genuine, shifting horizon from thank you noteI can randomly pick any poem and there is global concern, praise of individuality, hatred of the oppressor, love of truth and freedom There is nothing she can t make into a poem, no idea, no theory, no thingYou re crying here, but there they re dancing, there they re dancing in your tear There they re happy, making merry, hydrogen, oxygen, those rascals Chlorine, sodium, a pair of rogues your crying s music to their ears from MotionScience, pornography, torture, resumes, stage fright It is all there, andThere are many families in which nobody writes poems, But once it starts up it s hard to quarantine.
Sometimes poetry cascades down through the generations from IN PRAISE OF MY SISTERAstonishmentWhy after all this one and not the rest Why this specific self, not in a nest, But a house Sewn up not in scales, but skin Not topped off by a leaf, but by a face Why on earth now, on Tuesday of all days,And why on earth, pinned down by this star s pin In spite of years of my not being here In spite of seas of all these dates and faces,These cells, celestials, and coelenterates What is it really that made me appearNeither an inch nor half a globe too far, Neither a minute nor aeons too early What made me fill myself so squarely BirthdaySo much world all at once how it rustles and bustles Moraines and morays and morasses and mussels,The flame, the flamingo, the flounder, the feather How to line them all up, how to put them together Isn t sunset a little too much for two eyesThat, who knows, may not open to see the sun rise I am just passing through it s a five minute stop.
I won t catch what is distant what s too close, I ll mix up.
PsalmOh the leaky boundaries of man made states How many clouds float past them with impunity How much desert sand shifts from one land to another How many mountain pebbles tumble onto foreign soilIn provocative hops Need I mention every single bird that flies in the face of frontiersOr alights on the roadblocks at the border A humble robin still, its tail resides abroadWhile its beak stays home It that weren t enough, it won t stop bobbing Oh, to register in detail, at a glance, the chaos prevailing on every continent Isn t that a privet on the far bank smuggling its hundred thousandth leaf across the river And who but the octopus, with impudent long arms,Would disrupt the scared bounds of territorial waters And how can we talk of order overallWhen the very placement of the starsLeaves us doubting just what shines for whom Not to speak of the fog s reprehensible drifting And dust blowing all over the steppesAs if they hadn t been partitioned And the voices coasting on obliging airwaves, That conspiratorial squeaking, those indecipherable mutters Only what is human can truly be foreign.
The rest is mixed vegetation, subversive moles, and wind UNDER ONE SMALL STARMy apologies to chance to 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 minutes 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.
My apologies to great questions for small answers.
Truth, please don t pay me much attention.
Dignity, please be magnanimous.
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
Whatever inspiration is, it s born from a continuous I don t know That is why I value that little phrase I don t know so highly It s small, but it flies on mighty wings It expands our lives to include spaces within us as well as the outer expanses in which our tiny Earth hangs suspendedPoets, if they re genuine, must always keep repeating I don t know Szymborska, The Poet and the World.
This excerpt from Syzmborska s Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech describes the mission in her poetry which she explores throughout her collection Szymborska s book, Poems New and Collected rattles the mind s realm of reality, spirituality, and unknown humanity A predominate pattern of poisioning passages of darkness lead to peepholes to positive She delivers a inspiringly intelligent, thought inciting pile of poems Szymborska is a poet who does not hide behind her writings She expresses herself and thoughts and is not afraid to do so This certain poem of hate could be a bit risky to write, but it actually tells the truth Hate is everywhere, even on the sports fields, with the fans and athletes themselves Szymborska seems to have sat in the corner of endless crowded and uncrowded rooms and she shares with us the intricacy of over 70 years of situations A must for those who love poetry, and a volume to make those love poetry that have never kissed its lips before.
This is the kind of poetry to keep by your bedside, and read over and over again.