Adam Mickiewicz

(24 December 1798 – 26 November 1855 / Zavosse, Nowogródek)

The Great Improvisation - Poem by Adam Mickiewicz

(Part Three, Scene Two)

. . . Listen to me, God, and you, Nature!
Here is music that is worthy of you, songs that are worthy of you.
I am master!
Master, I stretch out my hands!
I stretch them to the sky, I place my fingers on the stars.
They are my musical glasses, my armonica.
Now swiftly, now slowly
My spirit turns the stars.
Millions on millions of tones resound,
It is I who called them forth, I know them all;
I combine them, I separate them, I reunite them,
I weave them into rainbows, into chords, into strophes,
I scatter them in sounds and in ribbons of fire.

I raised my hands,
I held them high above the ridge of the world,
And the wheels of the armonica suddenly ceased to whirl.
I sing alone, I hear my songs
Long lingering like the breath of the wind,
They blow through all mankind,
They moan like pain,
They roar like the storm.
Tonelessly, the centuries accompany them; each sound resounds and burns,
Is in my ear, is in my eye,
As when the wind blows over the waves,
In its whistlings I hear its flight
And see it in its coat of cloud.

These songs are worthy of God, of Nature!
This is a mighty song, a creator-song.
This song is force and power,
This song is immortality!
I feel immortality, I create immortality,
And you, God, what more could you do?
See how I draw my thoughts out of myself,
I incarnate them,
They scatter across the skies,
They whirl, they sing, they shine,
Already far away, I feel them still,
Still feel their charm,
I feel their roundness in my hand,
I sense their movements in my mind:
I love you, my poetic children!
My thoughts! My stars!
My feelings! My storms!
Among you I am like a father in the midst of his family,
All of you are mine .

. . . Not from Eden's tree have I drawn this power-
From the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil-
Not from books or tales that are told,
Not from the solution of problems,
Or the practice of magic.
Creator I was born:
I have drawn my powers from the source
From which you drew yours:
You did not search for your powers - you have them;
You do not fear to lose them and neither do I!
Was it you who gave me,
Or did I, like you, have to seize it,
This piercing and powerful eye:
When I raise my eyes toward the track of the clouds,
And hear the birds flying south on almost invisible wings,
Suddenly, only by willing, I hold them as in a net with my eyes;
The flock gives a cry of distress, but, till I release them,
Your winds cannot move them.
If I gaze at a comet with all the strength of my soul,
It cannot stir from the spot while my eyes are upon it


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 24, 2013



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