Sunday, April 2, 2017
Happy National Poetry Month. Every year in April on Sundays, I put a poem in my post. This year I also plan to write 30 poems in 30 days. Did you know I am a poet? I read a poem every morning to start my day and one at night before I fall asleep. The poems invade my dreams, brighten my day and the result is wonderful. I challenge you to try it. Read 2 poems a day and write one everyday during the month of April.
Today, I am highlighting a Polish poet. I'm also Polish and when I read some of Szymborska's poetry, I was wow'ed and couldn't stop thinking about some of them. Wislawa Szymborska won the Nobel Prize in 1996. She died in 2012 at age 88 and Map is a collection of her last poems. So today, I bring you Utopia.
Island where all becomes clear.
Solid ground beneath your feet.
The only roads are those that offer access.
Bushes bend beneath the weight of proofs.
The Tree of Valid Supposition grows here
with branches disentangled since time immemorial.
The Tree of Understanding, dazzlingly straight and simple,
sprouts by the spring called Now I Get It.
The thicker the woods, the vaster the vista:
the Valley of Obviously.
If any doubts arise, the wind dispels them instantly.
Echoes stir unsummoned
and eagerly explain all the secrets of the worlds.
On the right a cave where Meaning lies.
On the left the Lake of Deep Conviction.
Truth breaks from the bottom and bobs to the surface.
Unshakable Confidence towers over the valley.
Its peak offers an excellent view of the Essence of Things.
For all its charms, the island is uninhabited,
and the faint footprints scattered on its beaches
turn without exception to the sea.
As if all you can do here is leave
and plunge, never to return, into the depths.
Into unfathomable life.
By Wislawa Szymborska
From "A large number", 1976
Translated by S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh
Copyright © Wislawa Szymborska, S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh
In case you want to read more amazing poetry, below is a link to 5 of Syzborska's poems from the Nobel library. These poems will really give you cause to pause and think.