Under One Small Star Poem by Wislawa Szymborska

Under One Small Star

Rating: 4.7


My apologies to chance for calling it necessity.
My apologies to necessity if I'm mistaken, after all.
Please, don't be angry, happiness, that I take you as my due.
May my dead be patient with the way my memories fade.
My apologies to time for all the world I overlook each second.
My apologies to past loves for thinking that the latest is the first.
Forgive me, distant wars, for bringing flowers home.
Forgive me, open wounds, for pricking my finger.
I apologize for my record of minuets to those who cry from the depths.
I apologize to those who wait in railway stations for being asleep today at five a.m.
Pardon me, hounded hope, for laughing from time to time.
Pardon me, deserts, that I don't rush to you bearing a spoonful of water.
And you, falcon, unchanging year after year, always in the same cage,
your gaze always fixed on the same point in space,
forgive me, even if it turns out you were stuffed.
My apologies to the felled tree for the table's four legs.
My apologies to great questions for small answers.
Truth, please don't pay me much attention.
Dignity, please be magnanimous.
Bear with me, O mystery of existence, as I pluck the occasional thread from your train.
Soul, don't take offense that I've only got you now and then.
My apologies to everything that I can't be everywhere at once.
My apologies to everyone that I can't be each woman and each man.
I know I won't be justified as long as I live,
since I myself stand in my own way.
Don't bear me ill will, speech, that I borrow weighty words,
then labor heavily so that they may seem light.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Pawe³ Brodowski 01 July 2008

I'm Polish so i can read Szymborska's poems in original. And what I think about this poem (after re-reading it in Polish) it's that it is about ourselves. We all think that our matters are the most important. As the humanity thinks that solar system is the centre of the universe. Everyone lives under 'one small star' which twinkles outside his or her window. And this poem is about it - about the shame and comprehention. Every person has its own universe... (sorry for mistakes - English is not my mother language) .

26 1 Reply
Ahmad Shiddiqi 09 October 2008

humbly wonderful! keep writing! could you read and comment on my poems too?

10 7 Reply
Rochelle Cashdan 20 May 2008

I think Szymborska, steeped in the history of her country, knows the world hard but also knows she has to live beyond its horrors. Her way is by being a poet. The last two lines express her joy almost beyond guilt in making a poem even out of tragedy.

13 4 Reply
Ria Smits 31 October 2005

I have no comments at this moment, except for the fact that the poem touches my heart. I have a question: what does the two last lines of the poem mean? Can anyone explain them to me.

10 6 Reply
Wendy 28 December 2021

She is apologetic throughout the poem, lamenting everything she took for granted, explaining with her apologies how the world brought her joy. As a poet, she works to keep the message lighthearted although her words carry serious weight.

1 0 Reply
Bharati Nayak 26 December 2019

My apologies to the felled tree for the table's four legs. My apologies to great questions for small answers. - - - - - - We can not be every thing at the same time no matter how we wish.There are necessities for us to survive- We can not satisfy everbody- -We have to be ourselves- -A great poem indeed.

2 0 Reply
Bharati Nayak 26 December 2019

My apologies to chance for calling it necessity. My apologies to necessity if I'm mistaken, after all. Please, don't be angry, happiness, that I take you as my due. May my dead be patient with the way my memories fade. - - - - -I am reading Szymborska[s poems for the fist time and it impresses me greatly.

0 0 Reply
Mahtab Bangalee 27 July 2019

My apologies to the felled tree for the table's four legs. My apologies to great questions for small answers..../// superb write; it's great and noble sense

1 0 Reply
Sunny Lee 15 August 2017

So beautiful!!!

1 0 Reply
Rebecca Navarre 24 June 2017

My Heart And Soul Connected To Every Word! ! ! ! ! ! Ever So Felt And Heard! ! ! ! ! Agree With Judith! ! ! ! ! Absolutely Amazing! ! ! ! ! One Of The Most Greatest Beautifully Touching Poems I've Ever Read! ! ! ! ! Endless 10S! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ++++++ Definite Favs! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

1 0 Reply
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