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Branka Babic

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RE: Wislawa Szymborska, Nobel-prize winning Polish poet, dies at 88
3/3/2012 5:00:13 PM
350429 600x498 Amazing Birds by Andrew ZuckermanOPENNESS


Here we are, naked lovers,
beautiful to each other—and that's enough.
The leaves of our eyelids our only covers,
we're lying amidst deep night.

But they know about us, they know,
the four corners, and the chairs nearby us.
Discerning shadows also know,
and even the table keeps quiet.

Our teacups know full well
why the tea is getting cold.
And old Swift can surely tell
that his book's been put on hold.

Even the birds are in the know:
I saw them writing in the sky
brazenly and openly
the very name I call you by.

The trees? Could you explain to me
their unrelenting whispering?
The wind may know, you say to me,
but how is just a mystery.

A moth surprised us through the blinds,
its wings in fuzzy flutter.
Its silent path—see how it winds
in a stubborn holding pattern.

Maybe it sees where our eyes fail
with an insect's inborn sharpness.
I never sensed, nor could you tell
that our hearts were aglow in the darkness.


Copyright © 2001 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved. The Atlantic Monthly; February 2001; Two Love Poems - 01.02; Volume 287, No. 2; page 91.
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Branka Babic

713
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RE: Wislawa Szymborska, Nobel-prize winning Polish poet, dies at 88
3/5/2012 10:33:09 PM
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Branka Babic

713
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Person Of The Week
RE: Wislawa Szymborska, Nobel-prize winning Polish poet, dies at 88
3/7/2012 11:30:13 AM
Identification

By Wisława Szymborska

Translated from the Polish by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak



It’s good you came—she says.
You heard a plane crashed on Thursday?
Well so they came to see me
about it.
The story is he was on the passenger list.
So what, he might have changed his mind.
They gave me some pills so I wouldn’t fall apart.
Then they showed me I don’t know who.
All black, burned except one hand.
A scrap of shirt, a watch, a wedding ring.
I got furious, that can’t be him.
He wouldn’t do that to me, look like that.
The stores are bursting with those shirts.
The watch is just a regular old watch.
And our names on that ring,
they’re only the most ordinary names.
It’s good you came. Sit here beside me.
He really was supposed to get back Thursday.
But we’ve got so many Thursdays left this year.
I’ll put the kettle on for tea.
I’ll wash my hair, then what,
try to wake up from all this.
It’s good you came, since it was cold there,
and him just in some rubber sleeping bag,
him, I mean, you know, that unlucky man.
I’ll put the Thursday on, wash the tea,
since our names are completely ordinary—


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Branka Babic

713
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RE: Wislawa Szymborska, Nobel-prize winning Polish poet, dies at 88
3/7/2012 11:33:01 AM

A Photograph of a Crowd





In a photograph of a crowd
my head seventh from the edge,
or maybe four in from the left
or twenty up from the bottom;

my head, I can’t tell which,
no more the one and only, but already one of many,
and resembling the resembling,
neither clearly male nor female;

the marks it flashes at me
are not distinguishing marks;

maybe The Spirit of Time sees it,
but he’s not looking at it closely;

my demographic head
which consumes steel and cables
so easily, so globally,

unashamed it’s nothing special,
undespairing it’s replaceable;

as if it weren’t mine
in its own way on its own;

as if a cemetery were
dug up, full of nameless skulls
of high preservability
despite their mortality;

as if it were already there,
my any head, someone else’s—

where its recollections, if any,
would stretch deep into the future.

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Branka Babic

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RE: Wislawa Szymborska, Nobel-prize winning Polish poet, dies at 88
3/13/2012 7:35:56 PM

A Paleolithic Fertility Fetish



The Great Mother has no face

Why would the Great Mother need a face.

The face cannot stay faithful to the body,

the face disturbs the body, it is undivine,

it disturbs the body’s solemn unity.

The Great Mother’s visage is her bulging belly
With its blind navel in the middle.

The Great Mother has no feet.
What would the Great Mother do with feet
Where is she going to go.
Why would she go into the world’s details.

She has gone just as far as she wants

and keeps watch in the workshops under her taut skin.

So there's a world out there? Well and good.
It's bountiful? Even better.
The children have somewhere to go, to run around,
something to look up to? Wonderful.
So much that it's still there while they're sleeping,
almost ridiculously whole and real?
It keeps on existing when their backs are turned?
That's just too much--it shouldn't have.

The Great Mother barely has a pair of arms,

two tiny limbs lie lazing on her breass.

Why would they want to bless life,

give gifts to what has enough and more!

Their only obligation is to endure as long as earth and sky just in case

of some mishap that never comes.

To form a zigzag over essence.

The ornament’s last laugh.


Translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh
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