Nothing Twice Poem by Wislawa Szymborska

Nothing Twice

Rating: 3.4


Nothing can ever happen twice.
In consequence, the sorry fact is
that we arrive here improvised
and leave without the chance to practice.

Even if there is no one dumber,
if you're the planet's biggest dunce,
you can't repeat the class in summer:
this course is only offered once.

No day copies yesterday,
no two nights will teach what bliss is
in precisely the same way,
with precisely the same kisses.

One day, perhaps some idle tongue
mentions your name by accident:
I feel as if a rose were flung
into the room, all hue and scent.

The next day, though you're here with me,
I can't help looking at the clock:
A rose? A rose? What could that be?
Is it a flower or a rock?

Why do we treat the fleeting day
with so much needless fear and sorrow?
It's in its nature not to stay:
Today is always gone tomorrow.

With smiles and kisses, we prefer
to seek accord beneath our star,
although we're different (we concur)
just as two drops of water are.

translated by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Bharati Nayak 26 December 2019

Why do we treat the fleeting day with so much needless fear and sorrow? It's in its nature not to stay: Today is always gone tomorrow. With smiles and kisses, we prefer to seek accord beneath our star, although we're different (we concur) just as two drops of water are. - - Wow- What a lovely poem!

0 0 Reply
Susan Williams 30 January 2016

This was absolutely one of the very best poems I have ever read! And the translators Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak have done their job with consummate skill and poetic bent. Kudos to them for delivering this poem to us undamaged. I want to read this again and again

26 0 Reply
William Stribling 14 July 2013

Clarity on the matter, as usual, from this source!

6 0 Reply
Valerie Warren 06 April 2013

Simply one of the most beautiful of poems...

6 0 Reply
Rubin Nanda 06 February 2012

Wonderful thought provoking poem.

8 0 Reply
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