Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Lines for a Lockdown: ‘I write in order to comprehend not to express myself’


The Lamp

I write in order to comprehend not to express myself
I don’t grasp anything I’m not ashamed to admit it
sharing this not knowing with a maple leaf
So I turn with questions to words wiser than myself
to things that will endure long after us
I wait to gain wisdom from chance
I expect sense from silence
Perhaps something will suddenly happen
and pulse with hidden truth
like the spirit of the flame in the oil lamp
under which we bowed our heads
when we were very young
and grandmas crossed the bread with a knife
and we believed in everything
So now I yearn for nothing so much
as for that faith.

                          by Anna Kamieńska

from Astonishments, Selected Poems of Anna Kamieńska, edited and translated by Grażyna Drabik and David Carson, Paraclete Press, 2007.

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