Wislawa Szymborska

(2 July 1923 – 1 February 2012 / Prowent)

Negative

Poem by Wislawa Szymborska

Negative

Against a grayisch sky
a grayer cloud
rimmed black by the sun.

On the left, that is, the right,
a white cherry branch with black blossoms.

Light shadows on your dark face.
You'd just taken a seat at the table
and put your hands, gone pray, upon it.

You look like a ghost
who's trying to summon up the living.

(And since I still number among them,
I should appear to him and tap:
good night, that is, good morning,
farewell, that is, hello.

And not grudge questions to any of his answers
concerning life,
that storm before the clam).

translated from Polish by Stanislaw Baranczak
and Clare Cavanagh


Negatyw

Na niebie burym
chmurka jeszcze bardziej bura
z czarną obwódką słońca.

Na lewo, czyli na prawo,
biała gałąź czereśni z czarnymi kwiatami.

Na twojej ciemnej twarzy jasne cienie.
Zasiadłeś przy stoliku
i położyłeś na nim poszarzałe ręce.

Sprawiasz wrażenie ducha
który próbuje wywoływać żywych.

(ponieważ jeszcze zaliczam się do nich,
powinnam mu się zjawić i wystukać:
dobranoc , czyli dzień dobry,
żegnaj , czyli witaj.

I nie skąpić mu pytań na żadną odpowiedź,
jeśli dotyczą życia,
czyli burzy przed ciszą.)


Comments about Negative by Wislawa Szymborska

  • Dr Tony BrahminDr Tony Brahmin (4/22/2020 10:59:00 AM)

    Light shadows on your dark face.
    You'd just taken a seat at the table
    and put your hands, gone pray, upon it. Light and darkness, shadows. a goof reflection. t ony(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Khairul AhsanKhairul Ahsan (12/30/2018 10:57:00 PM)

    'You look like a ghost
    who's trying to summon up the living' - Wonderful!(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Kevin PatrickKevin Patrick (12/27/2018 4:42:00 PM)

    You look like a ghost
    who's trying to summon up the living.

    Evocative, and compelling, its the reverse world in which beauty is turned inside out into horror. A good choice for poem of the day.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • James MclainJames Mclain (12/27/2018 11:42:00 AM)

    From one's perspective of life,
    That always changed.. James McLain(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Prabir GayenPrabir Gayen (12/27/2018 9:54:00 AM)

    Modern poem by breath......very good observation(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • takrana (12/27/2018 5:44:00 AM)

    just before I looked at the paycheck of $5519, I didnt believe that my friends brother was like they say trully receiving money part-time on their apple labtop.. there neighbour started doing this 4 less than twenty three months and by now repaid the loans on their condo and purchased a top of the range Porsche 911. go to, .......................www.geosalary.com(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • dr. antony (12/27/2018 4:28:00 AM)

    You look like a ghost
    who's trying to summon up the living.
    a very good poem. tony(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (12/27/2018 3:15:00 AM)

    Black by the sun! !

    Thanks for sharing this poem with us.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Anil Kumar PandaAnil Kumar Panda (12/27/2018 1:42:00 AM)

    This is awesome poetry. Enjoyed thoroughly. Thanks for sharing.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Bernard F. AsuncionBernard F. Asuncion (12/27/2018 1:07:00 AM)

    A wonderful poem by Wislawa Szymborska.....................(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Susan WilliamsSusan Williams (1/30/2016 3:12:00 PM)

    Wow! This poet knows how to write down thoughts higher than the moon and deeper than eternity- -on my favorite poets' list, that's for sure.(Report)Reply

    22 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 11 comments »

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Poem Submitted: Friday, February 3, 2012