Feb 6 a poem for an indoor day Wislawa Szymborska

Wednesday,  February 6, 2019

“The subject of today’s investigation
is things that don’t move themselves.

They need to be helped along,”

I’ve been on the road: DC,  Baltimore, and a mildly harrowing connection via Atlanta during Super Bowl Sunday to get to New Orleans for a trustee meeting of the National Jesuit Volunteer Corps til last night.  That’s got me behind as Wednesday begins.   Weather.com tells me that rain is likely, maybe even “sullen rain” until a sweet Saturday of sun after prevailing winds shift to Detroit’s best direction, West at 25 mph Friday to clear the air, down to West at 9 mph Saturday.

What sort of poem for this little patch of gloomy weather and an agenda that needs tending?  I thought of a classic and wonderful indoor poem from Nobel Laureate Wislawa Szymborska.  Turn on a bright lamp indoors, get comfortable (some more coffee?) and read.  Best read out loud with pauses.   The post will be back Friday and so, I suspect, will the sun have returned.

Have a blest mid-week,


john sj

Today’s Post “A Little Girl Tugs At The Tablecloth”
Wislawa Szymborska

She’s been in this world for over a year,
and in this world not everything’s been examined
and taken in hand.

The subject of today’s investigation
is things that don’t move themselves.

They need to be helped along,

shoved, shifted,
taken from their place and relocated.

They don’t all want to go, e,g., the bookshelf,
the cupboard, the unyielding walls, the table.

But the tablecloth on the stubborn table
– when well-seized by its hems –
manifests a willingness to travel.

And the glasses, plates,
creamer, spoons, bowl,
are fairly shaking with desire.

It’s fascinating,
what form of motion will they take,
once they’re trembling on the brink:
will they roam across the ceiling?
fly around the lamp?
hop onto the windowsill and from there to a tree?

Mr. Newton still has no say in this.
Let him look down from the heavens and wave his hands.

This experiment must be completed.
And it will.

(Translation: Clare Cavanagh and Stanisław Barańczak)

Maria Wisława Anna Szymborska [viˈswava ʂɨmˈbɔrska]
(2 July 1923 – 1 February 2012)
Nobel Prize in Literature 1996

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