'I understand what Carolin [Emcke] meant about victims of violence and trauma experiencing solitude.'
- Svetlana Alexievich during an interview on Book tv, C-Span 2, recorded April 25,2005
'Man is the measure of all things.'
- a Classical maxim; a Renaissance motto
If I could explain my loneliness—if say, I chose a vehicle, and said,
vast, deep, as the Pacific, you could measure the distance and plumb
the depths as if conducting research, a study unlike Leonardo's on proportion.
As if.And if, say, I said again, extended the metaphor in this way—
My loneliness is as vast and deep as the Pacific when Vasco de Balboa
beheld it for a second time from the Isthmus; picture him facing the Pacific
to feel how he must have felt, this lone individual, this time-bereft explorer
now bereft of companions, this thin, black, slightly crooked line of a man
thin as a twig facing this endless blue expanse, the ocean roaring in his head,
his amazement gone, replaced instead by this vast blue turmoil he stands before,
sensing the gulf, the immensity over his right shoulder separating him
from king, country, family, lover, friends—Spain now a world away—
then, if you have travelled through time and space, accompanied me
and this Spaniard of five hundred years ago, touched his shoulder
as he faced the great Pacific, alone, you will have approached me,
my tenor, felt my solitude, and my depths will have shallowed,
my vastnesses shrunken to meet yours in due measure and true
proportion on this boundless blue Pacific.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem