Friday, April 9, 2010

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You :)

A few hours ago, I implored my friends to give me poetry books.


Not only does this seem to be a sign of boredom, it appears to be the handiwork of someone whose skull is thick. (I think I heard someone say, "Ang kapal mo talaga!")

But you see, I do not mean to be makapal (*laughter*); it is more like, lambing (**more laughter**), and it is not too often that I (pardon the colloquial term) "make lambing".

It is just that I have this increasing urge to read more and more poetry lately, and much of the good stuff cannot be found in commercial bookstores here.

Take for instance, Wislawa Szymborska, a Polish poet who in 1996 was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. I only came across a few of her works online, and the wit and irony that characterise her poems are both endearing and thought-provoking. I am, once again, hit by a compulsion to get hold of a physical collection of her poetry.

While I still try to figure out the best way to get a copy of this poetess' works, please allow me to share a favorite piece. Enjoy. :)

A "Thank You" Note
by Wislawa Szymborska
translated by Joanna Maria Trzeciak

There is much I owe
to those I do not love.

The relief in accepting
they are closer to another.

Joy that I am not
the wolf to their sheep.

My peace be with them
for with them I am free,
and this, love can neither give,
nor know how to take.

I don't wait for them
from window to door.
Almost as patient
as a sun dial,
I understand
what love does not understand.
I forgive
what love would never have forgiven.

Between rendezvous and letter
no eternity passes,
only a few days or weeks.

My trips with them always turn out well.
Concerts are heard.
Cathedrals are toured.
Landscapes are distinct.

And when seven rivers and mountains
come between us,
they are rivers and mountains
well known from any map.

It is thanks to them
that I live in three dimensions,
in a non-lyrical and non-rhetorical space,
with a shifting, thus real, horizon.

They don't even know
how much they carry in their empty hands.

"I don't owe them anything",
love would have said
on this open topic.


More about Wislawa Szymborska HERE. Photo also comes from the said site.

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