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

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Impossible to Measure Influence: Zbigniew Herbert

Hard to believe I haven't mentioned him yet. Hard to say how much the apprentice has taken from the master.

Silk of a Soul
did I speak with her
either about love
or about death
only blind taste
and mute touch
used to run between us
when absorbed in ourselves
we lay close
I must
peek inside her
to see what she wears
at her centre
when she slept
with her lips open
I peeked
and what
and what
would you think
I caught sight of
I was expecting
I was expecting
a bird
I was expecting
a house
by a lake great and silent
but there
on a glass counter
I caught sight of a pair
of silk stockings
my God
I'll buy her those stockings
I'll buy them
but what will appear then
on the glass counter
of the little soul
will it be something
which cannot be touched
even with one finger of a dream
Translated by Czeslaw Milosz and Peter Dale Scott

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