Zbigniew Herbert

(29 October 1924 – 28 July 1998 / Lvov)

Zbigniew Herbert Poems

41. Why The Classics 4/21/2010
Best Poem of Zbigniew Herbert

Report From The Besieged City

Too old to carry arms and fight like the others -

they graciously gave me the inferior role of chronicler
I record - I don't know for whom - the history of the siege

I am supposed to be exact but I don't know when the invasion began
two hundred years ago in December in September perhaps yesterday at dawn
everyone here suffers from a loss of the sense of time

all we have left is the place the attachment to the place
we still rule over the ruins of temples spectres of gardens and houses
if we lose the ruins nothing will be left

I write as I can...

Read the full of Report From The Besieged City

The Ardennes Forest

Cup your hands to scoop up sleep
as you would draw a grain of water
and the forest will come: a green cloud
a birch trunk like a chord of light
and a thousand eyelids fluttering
with forgotten leafy speech
then you will recall the white morning
when you waited for the opening of the gates

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