Sunday, October 16, 2011

episode in a library - zbigniew herbert

Episode In A Library
by Zbigniew Herbert (tr. Milosz & Scott)

A blonde girl is bent over a poem.  With a pencil sharp as a lancet she transfers the words to a blank page and changes them into strokes, accents, caesuras.  The lament of a fallen poet now looks like a salamander eaten away by ants.
   When we carried him away under machine-gun fire, I believed that his still warm body would be resurrected in the word.  Now as I watch the death of the words, I know there is no limit to decay.  All that will be left after us in the black earth will be scattered syllables.  Accents over nothingness and dust.

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