Aloha! I recently purchased this book
for a very low prince for which I’m quite proud of myself for and thought that the translations of the Polish poems were quite lovely and soothing. They are presently neatly on two separate pages; the original Polish version and the other than English version. I picked a couple and they’re down below for free reading.
Please note: The order of the poems do not mean anything, please treat them as individuals
SEEDS by Tomasz Jastrun
I do not like long poems
a short poem’s like a pebble,
it can be flung or
be tossed like a ball
or swallowed before bedtime
while long poems are like streets
where rows of cars are parked by the kerbside
and a lazy crowd inspects the shop windows
one breath is plenty to take in a short poem
one open hand or clenched fist
one quiet sigh and one groan
longer poems are impracticable these days
one must concentrate on them
in the unceasing gabble of happenings
the short verse is the symbol of our era
the seed which awaits its own appointed time
THE MEMORIAL by Władysław Szlengel
For heroes, there are rhapsodies, epics!
heroes’ names stay honoured and known,
on the pedestals their names are cavern,
memorials of stone.
For the valiant soldier-a medal!
For the soldier’s death-a cross!
Their fame and suffering locked up
in granite, steel, bronze.
Behind them the Great leave a legend
about their renown eternal
the myth will set hard-there will rise
But who’ll speak of this-they entered,
no bronze or myth-making affair,
they just took her-and shot her,
and now-she’s not there…
Was she so good, then? No, not that,
often she’d quarrel and scream,
slam doors in anger, answer sharply…
But she was there.
Good-looking? No, never good-looking,
even when silver not yet tinged her hair.
Clever? Well, normal, not stupid…
But, she was there.
You follow-was there, and when not there
you sense each corner’s baleful glare
One knows at once that she’s not there.
Does not seem a big word-the HOME-
dear God, how that house was ill-kept!
(they were not Warsaw people).
The husband kept all day at the workshop,
son somewhere, about his own business,
the room, not too clean, one must say
(she had to carry water up from the yard),
the furniture-sort of O.K.,
a clock keeping time, rather gay,
she was there.
What’s that? About her? -No, unimportant-
no statistic will write down her score-
for the world, Europe, less than a speck-
all that trying to no great effect!
But, before you reached the front door
before you touched the knob, tried the door,
some fragrance there, somehow, not quite
like a warm bowl of soup, hand-towel, white,
yes, some warmth wrapped around you,
she was there.
So, they took her.
She went as she was.
From the stove.
Soup not yet put on…
Was taken, she went-she is gone-
they shot her.
Her man will return from work,
Sit, heavy, on a stool, perhaps
hands let fall in his lap,
Turn his head round and stare.
The fire out in the grate-
rag lies as it fell to the floor,
a plate on the table-and dirt.
Keeps sitting. Bends over. And thinks.
Chews bread with soup from the workshop
factory soup-foreign and poor.
Eats and sees-
on the shelf, silent
cold and dead sits her pot.
He won’t go now to the workshop-
the son comes back from town, hungry,
into a bed left unmade,
in muddy boots, falls like a stone-
will look at -then never forget-