Wednesday, April 3, 2013

"Thank-you" by Wislawa Szymborska

I owe a lot
to those I don't love.

Relieved to acknowledge
they are closer to someone else.

Joy at not being
the wolf of their sheep.

With them I am at peace,
with them I'm free,
and this love can neither give
nor knows how to take.

I don't wait for them
from window to door.
almost like a sundial
I understand
what love does not
and forgive
what love would never have forgiven.

Between a meeting and a letter
it's not an eternity that passes,
but simply a few days or weeks.
Travels with them are always a success,
concerts heard through,
cathedrals toured,
landscapes distinct.

And when seven hills and rivers
divide us,
these are hills and rivers
we know well from maps.

It's their own achievement
if they live in three dimensions,
in nonlyrical and unrhetorical space,
with a real, that is, a mobile horizon.

They themselves don't know
how much they carry empty-handed.

"I owe them nothing"
love would have commented
on this open subject.

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