Wisława Szymborska

“I am too near to be dreamt of by him.
I do not fly over him, do not escape from him
under the roots of a tree. I am too near.
Not in my voice sings the fish in the net,
not from my finger rolls the ring.
I am too near. A big house is on fire
without me, calling for help. Too near
for a bell dangling from my hair to chime.
Too near to enter as a guest
before whom walls glide apart by themselves.
Never again will I die so lightly,
so much beyond my flesh, so inadvertently
as once in his dream. Too near.
I taste the sound, I see the glittering husk of this word
as I lie immobile in his embrace. He sleeps,
more accessible now to her, seen but once
a cashier of a wandering circus with one lion,
than to me, who am at his side.
For her now in him a valley grows,
russet-leaved, closed by a snowy mountain
in the bright blue air. I am too near
to fall to him from the sky. My scream
could wake him up. Poor thing
I am, limited to my shape,
I who was a birch, who was a lizard,
who would come out of my cocoons
shimmering the colors of my skins. Who possessed
the grace of disappearing from astonished eyes,
which is a wealth of wealths. I am near,
too near for him to dream of me.
I slide my arm from under the sleeper’s head
and it is numb, full of swarming pins,
on the tip of each, waiting to be counted,
the fallen angels sit.”


Wisława Szymborska, View With a Grain of Sand: Selected Poems
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View With a Grain of Sand: Selected Poems View With a Grain of Sand: Selected Poems by Wisława Szymborska
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