Saturday, March 01, 2014

Today's blossoms

                         Sufficient unto the day are the blossoms thereof. Today on the Daily Walk.

The work of Wislawa Szymborska was unknown to me until she won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996. Good stuff! Born in 1923, she lived through some tough postwar times in Poland, but lived to see some better days. She lived to be 88 years old. She was also an artist, as you might guess from this poem.


In my dreams
I paint like Vermeer van Delft.

I speak fluent Greek
and not just with the living.

I drive a car
that does what I want it to.

I am gifted
and write mighty epics.

I hear voices
as clearly as any venerable saint.

My brilliance as a pianist
would stun you.

I fly the way we ought to,
i.e., on my own.

Falling from the roof,
I tumble gently to the grass.

I’ve got no problem
breathing under water.

I can’t complain:
I’ve been able to locate Atlantis.

It’s gratifying that I can always
wake up before dying.

As soon as war breaks out,
I roll over on my other side.

I’m a child of my age,
but I don’t have to be.

A few years ago
I saw two suns.

And the night before last a penguin,
clear as day.

Wislawa Szymborska, translated from the Polish by Stanislaus Baranczak and Clare Cavanaugh, from View with a Grain of Sand, Harcourt Brace, 1996, pages 87-88.

In this poem, each two-line stanza is one sentence, on a separate topic and ends with a period. See what you might do with this form. Sleep well; I saw blossoms today and that means spring, beloved of haiku poets, is really beginning!

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