Monday, March 12, 2012

Tuesday Poem--To the River by Zbigniew Herbert


TO THE RIVER
River--hourglass of water metaphor of eternity

I enter you more and more changed

so I could be a cloud a fish or rock

while you are the same like a clock that measures

the metamorphoses of the body and descents of the spirit

slow disintegration of tissues and love

I who am born of clay

want to be your pupil

and learn the spring the Olympian heart

o cool torch rustling column

bedrock of my faith and my despair

river teach me stubbornness and endurance

so in the last hour I become worthy

of rest in the shade of the great delta

in the holy triangle of the beginning and of the end.

Zbigniew Herbert
(translated by John and Bogdana Carpenter)

2 comments:

  1. thank you, dear melissa. just the litany (for starters) of "a cloud or fish or rock" makes me want to immerse myself in this poem, be anointed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like the poet talking to the river - very nice. Mind you, I love rivers. the collection I've sent you has a river in it. (It will be another few days i think until it gets to you - I took so long packing it up worried the book would get wrecked). The holy triangle here is compelling, with the I in that stanza as the apex, and the way the words flow down the page like water, unhindered by punctuation.

    ReplyDelete