The Polish poet Wisława Szymborska died this week.
I can’t read a word of Polish, but in English translation she was one of my favourite poets. She wrote about large and sometimes terrifying themes using small subjects and a friendly, light ironic touch. She had perspective.
It’s gratifying that I can always
wake up before dying.
As soon as war breaks out,
I roll over on my other side.
I’m a child of my age,
but I don’t have to be.
A few years ago
I saw two suns.
And the night before last a penguin,
clear as day.
(from In Praise of Dreams, trans. Stanisław Barańczak & Clare Cavanagh)