Sunday, May 15, 2005

Wislawa Szymborska - Could have (poem about Holocaust survivors)

It could have happened.
It had to happen.
It happened earlier. Later.
Nearer. Farther off.
It happened, but not to you.

You were saved because you were the first.
You were saved because you were the last.
Alone. With others.
On the right. On the left.
Because it was raining. Because of the shade.
Because the day was sunny.

You were in luck - there was a forest.
You were in luck - there were no trees.
You were in luck - a rake, a hook, a beam, a brake,
A jamb, a turn, a quarter-inch, an instant...

So you're here? Still dizzy from
another dodge, close shave, reprieve?
One hole in the net and you slipped through?
I couldn't be more shocked or
speechless.
Listen,
how your heart pounds inside me.



More accurately I s'pose, this is a poem about the author being moved by the stories of survivors. How can you begin to express it...? I think Wislawa does a pretty good job though. She won the Nobel prize in 1996, and this link http://nobelprize.org/literature/laureates/1996/
has a bio etc.

2 Comments:

Blogger frustratedwriter said...

This one I understood and liked. Moving to say the least.

11:55 am  
Blogger Justine said...

Yes. Its amazing anyone's come up with the words.
I won't even attempt to do an exhaustive forensic exam of this one.

10:56 pm  

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