Dziadek do orzechów i inne przedmioty / A Nutcracker and Other Objects

41

Inanimate objects are always correct and cannot, unfortunately, be reproached with anything […] Zbigniew Herbert (1924-1998) , Polish Poet.

Zbigniew Herbert

Joseph Brodsky, famous Russian poet (the Nobel Prize in Literature 1987) about Zbigniew Herbert:

[…] What kind of poet is Zbigniew Herbert? Is he difficult? Is he hard to follow, hard to scan, impossible to remember? Look at „Pebble,” the first poem of this selection, and decide for yourself.

What kind of poem is this, and what is it all about? About nature, perhaps? Perhaps. I, for one, though, think that if it is about nature, then it is about human nature. About its autonomy, about its resistance, about, if you will, its survival. In this sense it is a very Polish poem, considering that nation’s recent, more exactly, modem, history. And it is a very modern poem, because Polish history, one may say, is modern history in miniature—well, more exactly, in a pebble. Because whether you are a Pole or not, what history wants is to destroy you. The only way to survive, to endure its almost geological pressure, is to acquire the features of a pebble, including the false warmth once you find yourself in somebody’s hands. […]

Pebble

The pebble
is a perfect creature

equal to itself
mindful of its limits

filled exactly
with a pebbly meaning

with a scent which does not remind one of anything
does not frighten anything away does not arouse desire

its ardour and coldness
are just and full of dignity

I feel a heavy remorse
when I hold it in my hand
and its noble body
is permeated by false warmth

    —Pebbles cannot be tamed
to the end they will look at us
with a calm and very clear eye.

From: The Wilson Quarterly

http://www.wilsonquarterly.com/article.cfm?AT=0&AID=1621

6 komentarzy

Filed under Poetry / Poezja, Tajemnice / Secrets

6 responses to “Dziadek do orzechów i inne przedmioty / A Nutcracker and Other Objects

  1. I completely agree: „whether you are a Pole or not, what history wants is to destroy you.” Here, after the countries civil war, we Igbos were thought to be troublemakers where in truth, we were fighting for our right.

    Thank you for sharing this poem, Wanda. Pebble causes one to reflect deeply.

    • WM

      Thinking about you, Uzoma, and another friends interested in poetry I decided to charakterize Zbigniew Herbert as a very universal writer. So I had an idea to show Herbert’s personality using Brodsky’s part of essay and text chosen by him. I like „Pebble” very much🙂

  2. Another post full of thoughtful insight!!! Thank you!!!!

    • WM

      🙂 I am dedicating a poem by Tadeusz Różewicz, the oldest Polish poet, to you, Rebecca, and🙂 to me (in Poland is 23:34):

      we need to put
      this poem to sleep

      before it starts
      philosophizing
      before it starts

      fishing
      for compliments

      called to life
      in a moment of forgetting

      sensitive to words
      glances
      it looks to
      a philosopher’s
      stone for help
      o passerby hasten your step
      do not lift up the stone

      there a blank verse
      naked
      turns
      to ashes

      [Translated from the Polish by Joanna Trzeciak ]

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