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

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Herbert's Poem "To Czeslaw Milosz"

Have thought about this short poem off and on, and in various contexts, ever since I bought Rodrigo (Polish version) somewhere in Poland (I'm guessing Krakow -- it was so long ago) and, with the help of my wife, tried to translate a few of the shorter pieces. Anyway, the line I always "draw on" to explain things (I know, I'm delusional) is "who knows which is better which is worse" (if I'm not mistaken, there's no "weightier" in the original Polish). Anyway ...

*

TO CZESLAW MILOSZ
1
   Above San Francisco Bay -- the lights of the stars
at dawn mist which divides the world in two parts
who knows which is better weightier which worse
one must not think even in secret they're the same

2
   Angels descend from heaven
Halleluia
when he sets down 
his slanted
azure-spaced
letters 
 

[Translated by Alissa Valles
Post a Comment