Saturday, November 8, 2008

Often I find myself surrounded by political disillusionment. After Bush, it is understandable. It is, in fact, fine. But it can also screw up convictions, especially for someone like me who is a natural cynic and contrarian who so badly wants to be optimistic upon occasion. Well the is week the air conditioning has been replaced by actual air. So for all cynics who feel unchanged after Tuesdays' wake, this optimistic poem seems appropriate.

Try To Praise The Mutilated World
Adam Zagajewski

Try to praise the mutilated world.
Remember June's long days,
and wild strawberries, drops of wine, the dew.
The nettles that methodically overgrow
the abandoned homesteads of exiles.
You must praise the mutilated world.
You watched the stylish yachts and ships;
one of them had a long trip ahead of it,
while salty oblivion awaited others.
You've seen the refugees heading nowhere,
you've heard the executioners sing joyfully.
You should praise the mutilated world.
Remember the moments when we were together
in a white room and the curtain fluttered.
Return in thought to the concert where music flared.
You gathered acorns in the park in autumn
and leaves eddied over the earth's scars.
Praise the mutilated world
and the grey feather a thrush lost,
and the gentle light that strays and vanishes
and returns.

Translated by Renata Gorczynski

The danger is that we live in a world where there’s irony on one side and fundamentalism (religious, political) on the other. Between them the space is rather small, but it’s my space.” - A.Z.

1 comment:

Rauan Klassnik said...

i am a cynic who also tried to praise the mutilated world. and, why not, it is of course the only world...

and for whatever it's worth this Zagajewski poems feels like a different flavor of much of Charles Simic's work... or maybe it's just me....