The End And The Beginning Poem by Wislawa Szymborska

The End And The Beginning

Rating: 3.4


After every war
someone has to clean up.
Things won’t
straighten themselves up, after all.

Someone has to push the rubble
to the side of the road,
so the corpse-filled wagons
can pass.

Someone has to get mired
in scum and ashes,
sofa springs,
splintered glass,
and bloody rags.

Someone has to drag in a girder
to prop up a wall.
Someone has to glaze a window,
rehang a door.

Photogenic it’s not,
and takes years.
All the cameras have left
for another war.

We’ll need the bridges back,
and new railway stations.
Sleeves will go ragged
from rolling them up.

Someone, broom in hand,
still recalls the way it was.
Someone else listens
and nods with unsevered head.
But already there are those nearby
starting to mill about
who will find it dull.

From out of the bushes
sometimes someone still unearths
rusted-out arguments
and carries them to the garbage pile.

Those who knew
what was going on here
must make way for
those who know little.
And less than little.
And finally as little as nothing.

In the grass that has overgrown
causes and effects,
someone must be stretched out
blade of grass in his mouth
gazing at the clouds.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Francis Tikava 03 February 2012

Wow. A very well written poem and good imagery. I completely agree with the message you are trying to portray. Could you read my poems please?

3 8 Reply
Denis Cofer 10 February 2012

The war touched her deeply

6 1 Reply
Dutendra Chamling 27 October 2015

...In the grass that has overgrown causes and effects, someone must be stretched out blade of grass in his mouth gazing at the clouds... Wonderful poem!

3 2 Reply
Bernard F. Asuncion 19 September 2018

Such a marvelous poem by Wislawa Szymborska...........................

2 1 Reply
Mahtab Bangalee 19 September 2018

its brilliantly written- like to quote - Those who knew what was going on here must make way for those who know little. And less than little. And finally as little as nothing. // great wisdom in applying word as title- The End and The Beginning

2 1 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 19 September 2019

I cite the great poetess here: After every war someone has to clean up. Things won’t straighten themselves up, after all.........................INDEED, she was right. A most deserving MODERN Poem Of The Day. Poem Hunter constantly choses the best poems to be the Modern Poem of The Day. Hurray! CONGRATULATIONS to the family. God´s Blessings! Truly honest and true words here.. Excellent poem!

0 0 Reply
Benjamin Uy 19 September 2019

A great poem from the best minds, Theres always a new beginning after a loss, Time to rebuilt and clean the ruins, Great poem from the author *****

0 0 Reply
Lyn Paul 19 September 2019

A poem that really tells it like it is, In the most beautiful way. RIP Ms Szymborska and all those who have fought and are still fighting.

0 0 Reply
Kumarmani Mahakul 19 September 2019

Visited this poem again. Really it is a beautiful poem. Thanks and congratulations for being selected this poem as the modern poem for second time of the poem of the day.

0 0 Reply
Edward Kofi Louis 19 September 2019

Someone has to clean up! ! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

0 0 Reply
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