Wislawa Szymborska

(2 July 1923 – 1 February 2012 / Prowent)

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.
"Yes."


Translated by Grazyna Drabik and Austin Flint

Anonymous submission.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Form:


Do you like this poem?
2 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: history, running, food, war, moon, song, green, water, sky, night

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Hunger Camp At Jaslo by Wislawa Szymborska )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Love After Love, Derek Walcott
  4. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  5. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  8. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  9. If, Rudyard Kipling
  10. Dreams, Langston Hughes

Poem of the Day

poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Your hands lie open in the long fresh grass, --
The finger-points look through like rosy blooms:
Your eyes smile peace. The pasture gleams and glooms
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. Father's Admonition, Tony Adah
  2. Those who lose, Luv Artem
  3. The Making of Me: Tune Me Up, Niealie Petit
  4. Show Your Love, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  5. Time Is Of Love, Naveed Akram
  6. The Wings Of Time, Noah Body
  7. Passing By The Pond, Tony Adah
  8. Ode to Now, David Whalen
  9. The Girl and her Dragon, Kevin Maroney
  10. What is Life, Andrea Cortesi
[Hata Bildir]