Saturday, June 27, 2009

Poem by Wislawa Szymborska

Lisa, Colma, California, August 2007.

Parting with a View
I don't begrudge the spring
for coming back again.
I can't blame it
for doing its duty
the same as every year.

I realize my sorrow
won't halt the greenery.
If a blade wavers,
it's only from the wind.

It doesn't cause me pain,

that clumps of alder above the waters
have something to rustle with again.

I accept
that—as though you were still alive—
the shore of a certain lake
has remained as beautiful as it was.

I don't hold a grudge
against a view for a view
onto a bay dazzled by the sun.

I can even imagine,
that some-not-us
are sitting now
on a toppled birch stump.

I respect their right

to whispers, laughter,
and happy silence.

I even assume
they're bound by love

and that he puts a living arm around her.

Something recently birdly
rustles in the bulrushes.
I sincerely hope
they hear it.

Let them be as they were,
those waves lapping on the shore,
sometimes swift, sometimes lazy,
and obedient not to me.

I ask nothing
of the deep waters below the woods,

To one thing I won't agree.
To my return.

The privilege of presence—
that I'll give up.

I've survived you just enough
but only enough,

to reflect from afar.
(Translated by Joanna Trzeciak)

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