„the World hasn’t earned / the world’s end”
at every rainy day:)
Silence of Plants
Our one-sided acquaintance
grows quite nicely.
I know what a leaf, petal, ear, cone, stalk is,
what April and December do to you.
Although my curiosity is not reciprocal,
I specially stoop over some of you,
and crane my neck at others.
I’ve got a list of names for you:
maple, burdock, hepatica,
mistletoe, heath, juniper, forget-me-not,
but you have none for me.
We’re traveling together.
But fellow passengers usually chat,
exchange remarks at least about the weather,
or about the stations rushing past.
We wouldn’t lack for topics: we’ve got a lot in common.
The same star keeps up in its reach.
We cast shadows based on the same laws.
We try to understand things, each of our own way,
And what we don’t know brings us closer too.
I’ll explain as best I can, just ask me:
What seeing with two eyes like,
What my heart beats for,
And why my body isn’t rooted down.
But how to answer unasked questions,
while being furthermore a being so totally
a nobody to you.
Undergrowth, coppices, meadows, rushes–
everything I tell you is a monologue,
and it’s not you who listens.
Talking with you is essential and impossible.
urgent in this hurried life
And postponed to never.
Translated by CLARE CAVANAGH and STANISŁAW BARAŃCZAK
Wisława Szymborska, Chwila/Moment (Znak, 2003)
fot. A. Bober