The Joy Of Writing Poem by Wislawa Szymborska

The Joy Of Writing

Rating: 3.7


Why does this written doe bound through these written woods?
For a drink of written water from a spring
whose surface will xerox her soft muzzle?
Why does she lift her head; does she hear something?
Perched on four slim legs borrowed from the truth,
she pricks up her ears beneath my fingertips.
Silence - this word also rustles across the page
and parts the boughs
that have sprouted from the word 'woods.'
Lying in wait, set to pounce on the blank page,
are letters up to no good,
clutches of clauses so subordinate
they'll never let her get away.

Each drop of ink contains a fair supply
of hunters, equipped with squinting eyes behind their sights,
prepared to swarm the sloping pen at any moment,
surround the doe, and slowly aim their guns.

They forget that what's here isn't life.
Other laws, black on white, obtain.
The twinkling of an eye will take as long as I say,
and will, if I wish, divide into tiny eternities,
full of bullets stopped in mid-flight.
Not a thing will ever happen unless I say so.
Without my blessing, not a leaf will fall,
not a blade of grass will bend beneath that little hoof's full stop.

Is there then a world
where I rule absolutely on fate?
A time I bind with chains of signs?
An existence become endless at my bidding?

The joy of writing.
The power of preserving.
Revenge of a mortal hand.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Nicole 13 March 2019

This is not a good translation of this poem. Please find other translations..

1 0 Reply
Laurie van der Hart 21 January 2020

Do you know of a better translation? Could you supply one? I would be eager to read it. Thanks!

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Dr Antony Theodore 21 January 2020

The joy of writing. The power of preserving. Revenge of a mortal hand. The power of the written word

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Edward Kofi Louis 21 January 2020

Ink! ! Means, To think, Able to write! ! ! Poetry. Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

1 0 Reply
Mahtab Bangalee 21 January 2020

Each drop of ink contains a fair supply of hunters, equipped with squinting eyes behind their sights, ....../// aptly written about writer; in feeling alone only the writing is true friend of a writer;

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Sylvia Frances Chan 21 January 2022

I have never known that this poem was a translation from original polish.Most deserving Modern Poem Of The Day

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Sylvia Frances Chan 21 January 2022

A beautiful poem by the famous Nobel prize winner poetess, full of metaphors, it has become a fascinating thought-provoking poem We can read that she had enormous joy in her writing.5 Top Stars!

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Shaun Cronick 21 January 2021

Fantastic poetry.

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Laurie van der Hart 21 January 2020

I love this poem and this poet. She is so creative and has a different approach. Yes, the power we have as writers gives us joy, creating our own worlds. The joy of writing - you can feel it in her poems The power of preserving - her mind is preserved in her poetry Revenge of a mortal hand - though already passed away, she’s having her revenge on mortality.

1 0 Reply
Kevin Patrick 21 January 2020

I do not know what the original version says in her mother tongue, but even through the loose English translation their is a tremendous beauty in this. Writing is a preservation of human minds.

1 0 Reply
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