Hunger Camp At Jaslo
Write it. Write. In ordinary ink
on ordinary paper: they were given no food,
they all died of hunger. "All. How many?
It's a big meadow. How much grass
for each one?" Write: I don't know.
History counts its skeletons in round numbers.
A thousand and one remains a thousand,
as though the one had never existed:
an imaginary embryo, an empty cradle,
an ABC never read,
air that laughs, cries, grows,
emptiness running down steps toward the garden,
nobody's place in the line.
We stand in the meadow where it became flesh,
and the meadow is silent as a false witness.
Sunny. Green. Nearby, a forest
with wood for chewing and water under the bark-
every day a full ration of the view
until you go blind. Overhead, a bird-
the shadow of its life-giving wings
brushed their lips. Their jaws opened.
Teeth clacked against teeth.
At night, the sickle moon shone in the sky
and reaped wheat for their bread.
Hands came floating from blackened icons,
empty cups in their fingers.
On a spit of barbed wire,
a man was turning.
They sang with their mouths full of earth.
"A lovely song of how war strikes straight
at the heart." Write: how silent.
Translated by Grazyna Drabik and Austin Flint
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Hunger Camp At Jaslo by Wislawa Szymborska )
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Still I Rise
Edgar Allan Poe
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
William Ernest Henley
- Strange is Life, Smoky Hoss
- Voice of your bangles, ramesh rai
- Eternal Love, Jesus James Llorico
- Butterfly, Tiku akp
- How time flies, DEEPAK KUMAR PATTANAYAK
- Precipice, Pradip Chattopadhyay
- The Striped Goodness Of The Candy Cane C.., mary douglas
- Where my soul resides like a flightless .., Mark Heathcote
- The Poets Behold From Heaven Their Words.., mary douglas
- The New Life: Fourth Stage for Marie, Daniel Brick