Try To Praise The Mutilated World

Try to praise the mutilated world.
Remember June’s long days,
and wild strawberries, drops of wine, the dew.
The nettles that methodically overgrow
the abandoned homesteads of exiles.
You must praise the mutilated world.
You watched the stylish yachts and ships;
one of them had a long trip ahead of it,
while salty oblivion awaited others.
You’ve seen the refugees heading nowhere,
you’ve heard the executioners sing joyfully.
You should praise the mutilated world.
Remember the moments when we were together
in a white room and the curtain fluttered.
Return in thought to the concert where music flared.
You gathered acorns in the park in autumn
and leaves eddied over the earth’s scars.
Praise the mutilated world
and the grey feather a thrush lost,
and the gentle light that strays and vanishes
and returns.

Adam Zagajewski
Translated by Renata Gorczynski

7 thoughts on “Try To Praise The Mutilated World

  1. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

    Far Away Garden

    It slips across my face as I try to guide its way. Some blade in a plastic holder.
    And hairs that pop out regimentally fresh no matter what, meet the edge.
    Everyday they move up and out.

    Nearly every day I care. And I cut them down. To size. Little flagships, little ventures,
    Staunch soldiers or just procession, I honor the motion that transforms perfume to sight.
    Blink at it as it moves right front o your mirror, ready to right back at the small world to come.

    We need an image, we need pride; we need to hide.
    Matter of fact, we need routine that screams of meaning.
    A set up, a forward, and that requires a circle.
    Is it that, or is it perfume?
    And do we talk poetry in metaphors and allegories or straight dope?
    What do the learned do, say? They of the hermetically sealed tribal plastic pick up sticks?
    Please them and the perfume is alive, winding its flesh pot leggy house right to your shut down ear.

    The sun beats down and bakes the starving.
    And all the fancy knowledge should not stay sweet.
    Perfume rolls down the quiet streets of these once fine towns.
    Now, a want, a craving, is infested on locust legs’ haunch, hunkered and bunkered. The war is long and endless.
    Is this where I pay ode to the morning ritual, in language accessible and twanging?
    Sly, designed to make you feel nice? Or is the wall not to be broken with saying that?

    What happened to the dream of loyalty and of true love?
    Packaged and moved away from the American desert to a hell glistening world wide tide?
    Dignity is unnoticed, so often just smothered in perfume and rolled in need.
    Hey, you there, where be the notice stapled to your chest?
    Or a woman so lost in ownership. Sometimes, lost just fighting back, striding with all
    The worst traits either sex has.
    A grace in the garden
    Meets that sun
    Baking the starving. Oh, the knowledge we toss to the jaw breaking heart taking line.
    Far away garden
    Noon day sun.

    This T.V. venture is not sublime.
    And I’m slicin’ them whiskers, one more time.
    Pride, take me to your good side.
    I pray.

  2. Pingback: Daughter of the Ring of Fire » Blog Archive » Poem Release Notes: No Private Shattered World

  3. Pingback: Unfinished and a Failure (In 20 Easy-to-Follow Steps)

  4. I am the translator of this poem, not Renata Gorczynski. This may be confirmed at the New Yorker website, or with the publisher, Farrar Straus Giroux. I would appreciate correct attribution.

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