spiralsheep: Flowers (skywardprodigal Cog Flowers)
Humph ([personal profile] spiralsheep) wrote in [community profile] forkedtongues2012-02-23 11:29 pm

Poem, Dnia 16 maja 1973 roku by Wisława Szymborska

I saw this poem by Nobel Prize-winning poet Wisława Szymborska in translation on the (recently linked) [community profile] poetree com and thought I'd track down the Polish original because I've read two other translations and neither of them appealed to me at all but this one by Adam Czerniawski made me want to read more. More of her poems can be found, with English and Swedish translations, on the Nobel Prize website amongst many other places.

Dnia 16 maja 1973 roku

Jedna z tych wielu dat,
kóre nie mówią mi już nic.

Dokąd w tym dniu chodziłam.
co robiłam - nie wiem.

Gdyby w pobliżu popełniono zbrodnię
- nie miałabym alibi.

Słońce błysło i zgasło
poza moją uwagą.
Ziemia się obróciła
bez wzmianki w notesie.

Lżej by mi było myśleć,
że umarłam na krótko,
niż że nic nie pamiętam,
choć żyłam bez przerwy.

Nie byłam przecież duchem,
oddychałam, jadłam,
stawiałam kroki,
które było słychać,
a ślady moich palców
musiały zostać na klamkach.

Odbijałam się w lustrze.
Miałam na sobie coś w jakimś kolorze.
Na pewno kilku ludzi mnie widziało.
Może w tym dniu
znalazłam rzecz zgubioną wczesniej.
Może zgubiłam znalezioną później.

Wypełniały mnie uczucia i wrażenia.
Teraz to wszystko
jak kropki w nawiasie.

Gdzie się zaszyłam,
Gdzie się pochowałam -
to nawet niezła sztuczka
tak samej sobie zejśc z oczu.

Potrząsam pamięcią -
może coś w jej gałęziach
uśpione od lat
poderwie się z furkotem.

Nie.
Najwyraźniej za dużo wymagam,
bo aż jednej sekundy.


16th May 1973 (Translated by Adam Czerniawski)

One of those many dates
that no longer tell me anything.

Where did I go on that day,
what was I doing - I don't know.

If someone committed a crime
- I would be lost for an alibi.

The sun shone and set
but I didn't notice.

I have no diary note
of the Earth's rotation.

Would have been easier to think
I had briefly died
than remembered nothing,
though I lived without a break.

Assuredly, I wasn't a spirit,
I breathed, I ate,
my steps were audible
and there must be
traces of my fingers on door-handles.

My reflections were mirrored.
I wore something that had a colour.
One or two people must have seen me.

Perhaps that day
I found something I had lost earlier.
Or lost something I found later.

I was full of feelings and impressions.
Now it's all
like dots in brackets.

Where was I shrouded,
where did I hide -
it's rather a clever trick
to vanish from one's own eyes.

I shake memory -
will something slumbering for years
start rustling
from its branches.

No.
Manifestly I demand too much -
no less than one second.

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