She (Szymborska) is preoccupied … throughout her work, with the relationship between poetry and the daily life that surrounds it, feeds it, and at times altogether ignores it.
Yesterday I got this challenging question regarding Szymborska: “How does the writing–or reading, affect you?”
I’m still pondering about it. Sometimes art hits you somewhere behind logics and it takes time to find adequate words to describe what has happened.
While I’m looking for words you might enjoy having a look at this:
I will also strongly recommend a visit to The Dad Poet‘s fine post on Szymborska.
I’d have to be really quick
to describe clouds –
a split second’s enough
for them to start being something else.
they don’t repeat a single
shape, shade, pose, arrangement.
Unburdened by memory of any kind,
they float easily over the facts.
What on earth could they bear witness to?
They scatter whenever something happens.
Compared to clouds,
life rests on solid ground,
practically permanent, almost eternal.
Next to clouds
even a stone seems like a brother,
someone you can trust,
while they’re just distant, flighty cousins.
Let people exist if they want,
and then die, one after another:
clouds simply don’t care
what they’re up to
And so their haughty fleet
cruises smoothly over your whole life
and mine, still incomplete.
They aren’t obliged to vanish when we’re gone.
They don’t have to be seen while sailing on.
– Wislawa Szymborska
translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh