Thursday, June 08, 2006

Thursday's poem of the week

The End and the Beginning

After every war
someone has to clean up.
Things won't
straighten themselves up, after all.

Someone has to push the rubble
to the sides of the road,
so the corpse-laden wagons
can pass.

Someone has to get mired
in scum and ashes,
sofa springs,
splintered glass,
and bloody rags.

Someone must drag in a girder
to prop up a wall,
Someone must glaze a window,
rehang a door.

Photogenic it's not,
and takes years.
All the cameras have left
for another war.

Again we'll need bridges
and new railway stations.
Sleeves will go ragged
from rolling them up.

Someone, broom in hand,
still recalls how it was.
Someone listens
and nods with unsevered head.
Yet others milling about
already find it dull.

From behind the bush
sometimes someone still unearths
rust-eaten arguments
and carries them to the garbage pile.

Those who knew
what was going on here
must give way to
those who know little.
And less than little.
And finally as little as nothing.

In the grass which has overgrown
reasons and causes,
someone must be stretched out
blade of grass in his mouth
gazing at the clouds.

~ Wislawa Szymborska (trans. Joanna Maria Trzeciak)
Edit: I've just joined Poetry Thursday, having started my Thursday Poem of the Week without realizing that this blogging movement existed. I'm excited about being inspired by others' writing and inspiring the lyrical voice inside of me once again...

Poetry Thursday's assignment for last week was to write a poem from overheard conversation. Here's something that was said to me yesterday that has stuck with me:

I knew a man
He studied English for his BA
English for his MA
English for his PhD
When he spoke,
It was like opening a book

You could hear his apostrophes
Hear his commas
His voice was a story to listen to


Kuan Gung said...

Very good...interesting...thank you

Anonymous said...

Haha. It was meant to be, it seems. ;) I'm adding you to the list of Poetry Thursday participants right now.

teabird17 said...

Wislawa Szymborska is an amazing poet, isn't she? This is chilling because it tells us something we know - the cycle of war and violence will continue, and so will the efforts to hide the evidence of those wars.

Thank you for commenting on the poem I posted on Crafted Poetry -- I'd love to have you as a member of the Yahoo group. The poem you wrote for Poetry Thursday would be such a welcome post for the group - we'd all love to read it, comment on it, expand on it for ourselves - except for a haiku or two, we haven't yet begun to write our own poetry.

This month, we're reading (and I'm moderating) poems by Jane Hirshfield. For the second half of the month, we will post poems that interest us, poems that may have some ties to Hirshfields. Yours does - you listen to this man and describe him so well, in so few words, that we know him, we can hear him, we can yearn to hear his story -

Ceebie said...

Thanks Teabird for the kind words about my first poetry attempt in a while! Sure, I'd love to hear what others have to say about it as well... Feedback (good or bad) is always good! Abd yes, I love Wislawa's work. Imagine filling entire stadiums to come listen to her!

Thanks also Lynn for letting me into the group. It does seem rather synchronicitous, doesn't it?

Looking forward to feeding my creative soul again...My magazine writing will be all the stronger for it.