Thursday, December 3, 2020

Poetry on Thursday

I didn't post a poem last Thursday because it was Thanksgiving, so I feel in need of a good one today. 

        The Joy of Writing
         by Wislawa Szymborska
    Why does this written doe bound through these written woods?
    For a drink of written water from a spring
    whose surface will xerox her soft muzzle?
    Why does she lift her head; does she hear something?
    Perched on four slim legs borrowed from the truth,
    she pricks up her ears beneath my fingertips.
    Silence-this word also rustles across the page
    and parts the boughs
    that have sprouted from the word "woods."

    Lying in wait, set to pounce on the blank page,
    are letters up to no good,
    clutches of clauses so subordinate
    they'll never let her get away.

    Each drop of ink contains a fair supply
    of hunters, equipped with squinting eyes behind their sights,
    prepared to swarm the sloping pen at any moment,
    surround the doe, and slowly aim their guns.

    They forget that what's here isn't life.
    Other laws, black on white, obtain.
    The twinkling of an eye will take as long as I say,
    and will, if I wish, divide into tiny eternities,
    full of bullets stopped in mid-flight.
    Not a thing will ever happen unless I say so.
    Without my blessing, not a leaf will fall,
    not a blade of grass wig bend beneath that little hoof's full stop.

    Is there then a world
    where I rule absolutely on fate?
    A time I bind with chains of signs?
    An existence become endless at my bidding?

    The joy of writing.
    The power of preserving.
    Revenge of a mortal hand.

    Wislawa Szymborska – Poetry. Nobel Media AB 2020. Wed. 2  Dec 2020. <>

    You can read more about the poet here

    I wish you mindfulness, peace, good health, the joy of writing, the power of preserving, and some poetry as this week winds down.


  1. Wow... what an incredible way to pose a poem! I love it! "Lying in wait, set to pounce on the blank page, are letters up to no good, clutches of clauses so subordinate they'll never let her get away." I just love that imagery! The joy of writing indeed!

    Thank you so much for sharing this!

  2. I've been trying to commit to writing more frequently (besides the blog, I mean) and this poem is a great illustration of how it feels sometimes.

  3. That is an amazing poem! I love it when people play with words like this. "Clutches of clauses" -- great phrase!

  4. I LOVE Wislawa Szymborska. She has such a wonderful way of playing with language -- and all the more impressive because she doesn't write in English!!! (Amazing translations, always.) Thanks for sharing this delightful poem! XO

  5. What a fun and beautiful poem Bonny! I love (like others) the "clutches of clauses" line...also "Revenge of a mortal hand." Wonderful!!

  6. Gosh, that's BRILLIANT! I was wondering if she wrote in English and seeing Kym's comment I think "no" ... her translator is pretty talented, too!

  7. I wish you happiness and peace! Lovely poem for me to read today.

  8. Oh that gorgeous animal. I just don't know how one shoots them. My father had no problem doing so. Ugh. He did eat the venison though. They rest of us wouldn't touch it. Thank you for the solace and comfort of a poem and photo


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