Treasure Island

Wislawa Szymborska

(2 July 1923 – 1 February 2012 / Prowent)

The Silence of Plants


The Silence of Plants

A one-sided relationship is developing quite well between you and me.
I know what a leaf, petal, kernel, cone, and stem are,
and I know what happens to you in April and December.

Though my curiosity is unrequited,
I gladly stoop for some of you,
and for others I crane my neck.

I have names for you:
maple, burdock, liverwort,
eather, juniper, mistletoe, and forget-me-not;
but you have none for me.

After all, we share a common journey.
When traveling together, it's normal to talk,
exchanging remarks, say, about the weather,
or about the stations flashing past.

We wouldn't run out of topics
for so much connects us.
The same star keeps us in reach.
We cast shadows according to the same laws.
Both of us at least try to know something,
each in our own way,
and even in what we don't know
there lies a resemblance.

Just ask and I will explain as best I can:
what it is to see through my eyes,
why my heart beats,
and how come my body is unrooted.

But how does someone answer questions
which have never been posed,
and when, on top of that
the one who would answer
is such an utter nobody to you?

Undergrowth, shrubbery,
meadows, and rushes…
everything I say to you is a monologue,
and it is not you who's listening.

A conversation with you is necessary
and impossible,
urgent in a hurried life
and postponed for never.

trans. Joanna Trzeciak


MILCZENIE ROŚLIN


Jednostronna znajomość między mną a wami
rozwija się nie najgorzej.

Wiem co listek, co płatek, kłos, szyszka, łodyga,
i co się z wami dzieje w kwietniu, a co w grudniu.

Chociaż moja ciekawość jest bez wzajemności,
nad niektórymi schylam się specjalnie,
a ku niektórym z was zadzieram głowę.

Macie u mnie imiona:
klon, łopian, przylaszczka,
wrzos, jałowiec, jemioła, niezapominajka,
a ja u was żadnego.

Podróż nasza jest wspólna.
W czasie wspólnych podróży rozmawia się przecież,
wymienia się uwagi choćby o pogodzie,
albo o stacjach mijanych w rozpędzie.

Nie brakłoby tematów, bo łączy nas wiele.
Ta sama gwiazda trzyma nas w zasięgu.
Rzucamy cienie na tych samych prawach.
Próbujemy coś wiedzieć, każde na swój sposób,
a to, czego nie wiemy, to też podobieństwo.

Objaśnię jak potrafię, tylko zapytajcie:
co to takiego oglądać oczami,
po co serce mi bije
i czemu moje ciało nie zakorzenione.

Ale jak odpowiadać na niestawiane pytania,
jeśli w dodatku jest się kimś
tak bardzo dla was nikim.

Porośla, zagajniki, łąki i szuwary -
wszystko, co do was mówię, to monolog,
i nie wy go słuchacie.

Rozmowa z wami konieczna jest i niemożliwa.
Pilna w życiu pospiesznym
i odłożona na nigdy.

Submitted: Friday, February 03, 2012

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