Monday, April 23, 2012

Utopia and Melancholia


Island where all becomes clear.
Solid ground beneath your feet.

The only roads are those that offer access.
Bushes bend beneath the weight of proofs.

The Tree of Valid Supposition grows here
with branches disentangled since time immemorial.

The Tree of Understanding, dazzlingly straight and simple,
sprouts by the spring called Now I Get It.

The thicker the woods, the vaster the vista:
the Valley of Obviously.

If any doubts arise, the wind dispels them instantly.

Echoes stir unsummoned
and eagerly explain all the secrets of the worlds.

On the right a cave where Meaning lies.

On the left the Lake of Deep Conviction.
Truth breaks from the bottom and bobs to the surface.

Unshakable Confidence towers over the valley.
Its peak offers an excellent view of the Essence of Things.

For all its charms, the island is uninhabited,
and the faint footprints scattered on its beaches
turn without exception to the sea.

As if all you can do here is leave
and plunge, never to return, into the depths.

Into unfathomable life.


By Wislawa Szymborska
From "A large number", 1976
Translated by S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh

© Wislawa Szymborska, S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh


Anonymous John Pendrey said...

This was posted in response to Seedrum's 'tessellated' blog. Also I'd listened to a radio program, 'Words and Music' on 'perfection'.

1:06 pm  
Anonymous Tamara M said...

thank you

5:11 pm  
Anonymous see drum said...

I must say, it starts as ripples. And yes, this posting and response pleases me greatly.

thank you John. Tessellated was an incubated piece of writing. Waited and waited and then just sat down, and like automatic writing, it appeared.

and some did notice. How it elevated my presence. How it is different from the entertainment blogs I write, to keep me from getting bored. Not all of life is great, but then comes a response, like John's posting here. And I am thankful.

I am.

7:36 pm  
Anonymous Virgilio Gavia said...

i interpret this poem as a state of mind...a figment of imagination. could dementia be a utopia?

8:37 pm  

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