Wednesday, January 20, 2010

We've got Wednesday

So these are the Himalayas.
Mountains racing to the moon.
The moments of their start recorded
on the startling ripped canvas of the sky.
Holes punched in a desert of clouds.
Thrust into nothing.
Echo -- a white mute:

Yeti, down there we've got Wednesday,
bread and alphabets. ...

Yeti, crime is not all
we're up to down there.

Yeti, not every sentence
means death. ...

We've inherited hope --
the gift of forgetting ...

And she goes on -- Waslawa Szymborska -- enumerating the things of civilization down where the oxygen is richer and temperature more livable. Often on Wednesday I think of this poem. Wednesday is in the middle of the division of time we call a week -- it's arbitrary of course this division of time we Westerners have imposed upon the world. Szymborska is one of my favorite poets. She is the fine looking lady in the picture above, Polish, living in the beautiful city of Krakow, a winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996. A book of selected poems, View with a Grain of Sand, is the only readily available source of her work translated into English. Every poem is a gem. I've been recommending it to people every since I discovered it.


Kass said...

Down there we've got Wednesday, bread and alphbets...not every sentence means death....

Wow, this is great. I'll have to look her up.

Marie aka Grams said...

Lovely. It made me breathe deeper.

Jonas said...

Marvelous poetry!

Thank you for introducing me to her!