The Annual Brigid Poetry Slam – In Memorium

by Beth on February 2, 2012

For the last five or six years (I am losing track), I have joined the global poetry slam in honor of Brigid, Goddess of Poetry, Healing, and Art.  The slam includes, not only poetry praises to our beloved Goddess, but offerings of poetry of all kinds.

As it happens, just yesterday, Poland’s Nobel Laureate Poet, Wislawa Szymborska crossed the veil. I am sure that Brigid has welcomed Her wry, brilliant daughter with loving arms.

It is in Ms. Szymborska’s memory, and in honor of blessed Brigid’s gifts of healing — even healing the horrors of war —  that I dedicate my Brigid Poetry Slam selection.  Blessed be.

The End and the Beginning

By Wisława Szymborska (1923-2012)
Translated By Joanna Trzeciak

After every war
someone has to clean up.
Things won’t
straighten themselves up, after all.

Someone has to push the rubble
to the side of the road,
so the corpse-filled wagons
can pass.

Someone has to get mired
in scum and ashes,
sofa springs,
splintered glass,
and bloody rags.

Someone has to drag in a girder
to prop up a wall.
Someone has to glaze a window,
rehang a door.

Photogenic it’s not,
and takes years.
All the cameras have left
for another war.

We’ll need the bridges back,
and new railway stations.
Sleeves will go ragged
from rolling them up.

Someone, broom in hand,
still recalls the way it was.
Someone else listens
and nods with unsevered head.
But already there are those nearby
starting to mill about
who will find it dull.

From out of the bushes
sometimes someone still unearths
rusted-out arguments
and carries them to the garbage pile.

Those who knew
what was going on here
must make way for
those who know little.
And less than little.
And finally as little as nothing.

In the grass that has overgrown
causes and effects,
someone must be stretched out
blade of grass in his mouth
gazing at the clouds.

 

Wislawa Szymborska, “The End and the Beginning” from Miracle Fair, translated by Joanna Trzeciak.
Copyright © 2001 by Joanna Trzeciak.

Dawn February 2, 2012 at 10:37 am

simply beautiful – thanks!

Maria February 3, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Oh, I LOVE that!

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