Friday, October 17, 2014

Pebble 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 which does not remind one of anything
does not frighten anything away
does not arouse desire
its ardor 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

(Translated from the Polish by Peter Dale Scott and Czeslaw Milosz)

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