A Ballad That We Do Not Perish, by Zbigniew Herbert
Those who sailed at dawn
but will never return
left their trace on a wave–
a shell fell to the bottom of the sea
beautiful as lips turned to stone
those who walked on a sandy road
but could not reach the shuttered windows
though they already saw the roofs–
they have found shelter in a bell of air
but those who leave behind only
a room grown cold a few books
an empty inkwell white paper–
in truth they have not completely died
their whisper travels through thickets of wallpaper
their level head still lives in the ceiling
their paradise was made of air
of water lime and earth an angel of wind
will pulverize the body in its hand
they will be
carried over the meadows of this world.
“…not completely died” That line about floored me.
This is one of my beloved poems, always gives me goosebumps, no matter how many times I read it. When I found out it was translated into English I wanted to share it.
ahhh. Well thanks for that. It has many delicate turns and devices. Truly a pleasure to read.
This is a gorgeous poem. I am sooo sad tonight. It’s amazing. See, I love waves. I wouldn’t mind leaving my trace there. I like that it doesn’t last. 🙂 Thanks for your steady support, Monika. I think Gemini’s need to be re-evaluated. In my experience, you’re all really good at that. Pretty impressive for some mutable air. 😉 You all are awesome… and fun! Fun cannot be underestimated. Ever.
Kelsey, it is not hard to support such talented and deep people like you. I am a Gemini but my Moon and Asc are in fixed signs, Taurus and Leo respectively. And there is lots of Neptunian influence all over, which makes me idealize my relationships. I am very much like the Page of Cups you described today.
I relate to the Page of Cups a great deal, too. But more in the fragility and (almost perverse) innocence. Your support is very much appreciated, Monika.
I love that Gemini has come up in discussion. That was my first thought as well. How fitting a poem for Geminis…
“their paradise was made of air
of water lime and earth an angel of wind”
Yes, I am treating myself to some Gemini fun before my birthday. I love this poem because it gives me hope, maybe false one.
It’s nice to hear you are honoring and celebrating your special day. Wishing you a wonderful year ahead. I’ll be looking forward to more excellent blog posts throughout! Happy Birthday (early), Monika!
Thank you very much!
Why do I write? The answer is: because, I have to. I need the therapy looking deep inside provides me. I’m not talking about surface writing. You know, the kind a reporter might type when covering some disaster, a meeting, or a political event that might include both. I write only after communing with some sort of truth that bubbles up from within.
The truth may not make sense to some, but it resonates with me, the one person that actually counts. I can’t get to that truth unless I am totally honest. I can’t be honest until I’ve humbled and opened myself to some Thing or Force far greater than myself.
If I rush the process, I fool no one but myself. I need to see myself kneeling before the magnificent and wonderful OZ residing at some fiery pool of water in side of me. The OZ that is all-knowing and filled with nothing but God’s honest truth. The Oz created by some primordial energy that exists within each of us if we but overcome our fear to search and look at it full in the face.
If you want the whole story, Symbol Reader, you can see it here::
I write because I cannot not write. Writing is always taking me to places I had not expected to discover.