One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Monday, July 11, 2011

Szymborska's "Miracle Fair"

Miracles (strictly defined as events whose occurrence defy natural laws) and Providence are our ways of explaining the inexplicable. Which brought to mind Szymborska's lovely and miraculous "Miracle Fair."


Miracle Fair

The commonplace miracle:
that so many common miracles take place.
The usual miracles:
invisible dogs barking
in the dead of night.
One of many miracles:
a small and airy cloud
is able to upstage the massive moon.  
Several miracles in one:
an alder is reflected in the water
and is reversed from left to right
and grows from crown to root
and never hits bottom
though the water isn't deep.
A run-of-the-mill miracle:
winds mild to moderate
turning gusty in storms.
A miracle in the first place:
cows will be cows.
Next but not least:
just this cherry orchard
from just this cherry pit.
A miracle minus top hat and tails:
fluttering white doves.
A miracle (what else can you call it):
the sun rose today at three fourteen a.m.
and will set tonight at one past eight.
A miracle that's lost on us:
the hand actually has fewer than six fingers
but still it's got more than four.
A miracle, just take a look around:
the inescapable earth.
An extra miracle, extra and ordinary:
the unthinkable
can be thought.
 
translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh



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