Zbigniew Herbert

(29 October 1924 – 28 July 1998 / Lvov)

Pebble Poem by Zbigniew Herbert


The pebble
is a perfect creature

equal to itself
mindful of its limits

filled exactly
with a pebbly meaning

with a scent that does not remind one of anything
does not frighten anything away does not arouse desire

its ardour and coldness
are just and full of dignity

I feel a heavy remorse
when I hold it in my hand
and its noble body
is permeated by false warmth

--Pebbles cannot be tamed
to the end they will look at us
with a calm and very clear eye

Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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