Zbigniew Herbert

(29 October 1924 – 28 July 1998 / Lvov)

The Power Of Taste - Poem by Zbigniew Herbert

It didn’t require great character at all
our refusal disagreement and resistance
we had a shred of necessary courage
but fundamentally it was a matter of taste
Yes taste
in which there are fibers of soul the cartilage of
Who knows if we had been better and more
attractively tempted
sent rose-skinned women thin as a wafer
or fantastic creatures from the paintings of
Hieronymus Bosch
but what kind of hell was there at this time
a wet pit the murderers’ alley the barrack
called a palace of justice
a home-brewed Mephisto in a Lenin jacket
sent Aurora’s grandchildren on into the field
boys with potato faces
very ugly girls with red hands
So æsthetics can be helpful in life
one should not neglect the study of beauty
Before we declare our consent we must carefully
the shape of the architecture the rhythm of the drums

official colors the despicable ritual of funerals
Our eyes and refused obedience
the princes of our senses proudly chose exile

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, December 29, 2011

Poem Edited: Thursday, December 29, 2011

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