Friday, January 27, 2017

In The Midst of Life by Tadeusz Różewicz

In The Midst of Life 

After the end of the world
after death
I found myself in the midst of life
creating myself
building life
people animals landscapes

this is a table I said
this is a table
there is bread and a knife on the table
knife serves to cut bread
people are nourished by bread

man must be loved
I learnt by night and day
what must one love
I would reply man

this is a window I said
this is a window
there is a garden beyond the window
I see an apple tree in the garden
the apple tree blossoms
the blossom falls
fruit is formed

my father picks the apple
the man who picks the apple
is my father

I sat on the threshold

that old woman who
leads a goat on a string
is needed more
is worth more

than the seven wonders of the world
anyone who thinks or feels
she is not needed
is a mass murderer

this is a man
this is a tree this is bread people eat to live
I kept saying to myself
human life is important
human life has great importance
the value of life
is greater than the value of all things
which man has created
man is a great treasure
I repeated stubbornly

this is water I said
I stroked the waves with my hand
and talked to the river
water I would say
nice water
this is me

man talked to water
talked to the moon
to the flowers and to rain
talked to the earth
to the birds
to the sky
the sky was silent
the earth was silent
and if a voice was heard
from earth water and sky
it was a voice of another man

(Translated by Adam Czerniawski)

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