Sunday, September 19, 2010

Your Sunday Poem

This from “View with a grain of sand,” selected poems by Wislawa Szymborska.

Family Album

No one in this family has ever died of love.

No food for myth and nothing magisterial.

Consumptive Romeos? Juliets diptherial?

A doddering second childhood was enough.

No death-defying vigils, love-struck poses

over unrequited letters strewn with tears!

Here, in conclusion, as scheduled, appears

a portly, pince-nez’d neighbor bearing roses.

No suffocation-in-the-closet gaffes

because the cuckold returned home too early!

Those frills or furbelows, however flounced and whirly,

barred no one from the family photographs.

No Bosch-like hell within their souls, no wretches

found bleeding in the garden, shirts in stains!

(True, some did die with bullets in their brains,

for other reasons, tough, and on field stretchers.)

Even this belle with rapturous coiffure

who may have danced till dawn – but nothing smarter –

hemorrhaged to be better world, bien sur,

but not to taunt or hurt you, slick-haired partner.

For others, Death was mad and monumental –

not for these citizens of a sepia past.

Their griefs turned into smiles, their days flew fast,

their vanishing was due to influenza.


Watershed Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Watershed Mark said...

Your Sunday Paper:

SLOTowner said...

Wonderful visual poetry, Ann!

Alon Perlman said...

This Polish dame is quite a find Ann.
From the last time you posted by her I learned she was running around Europe at the end of the second world war. So sepia toned shadows of forgotten ancestors on the wall, is very much part of her experience.

The historical framework of the poem here -
I had a little bird,
It's name was Enza.
I opened the window,
And in-flu-enza