Saturday, June 21, 2014
A Wisława Szymborska Poem
Nothingness unseamed itself for me too.
It turned itself wrong side out.
How on earth did I end up here—
head to toe among the planets,
without a clue how I used not to be.
O you, encountered here and loved here,
I can only guess, my arm on yours,
how much vacancy on that side went to make us,
how much silence there for one lone cricket here,
how much nonmeadow for a single sprig of sorrel,
and sun after darknesses in a drop of dew
as repayment—for what boundless droughts?
Starry willy-nilly! Local in reverse!
Stretched out in curvatures, weights, roughnesses, and motions!
Time out from infinity for endless sky!
Relief from nonspace in a shivering birch tree’s shape!
Now or never wind will stir a cloud,
since wind is exactly what won’t blow there.
And a beetle hits the trail in a witness’s dark suit,
testifying to the long wait for a short life.
And it so happened that I’m here with you.
And I really see nothing
usual in that.
(2014) trans. Clare Cavanagh