Saturday, April 17, 2010

Weekly Geeks: National Poetry Month


For this week's theme, I encourage participants to to help celebrate National Poetry Month by:
  • Posting a favorite poem, or
  • Reviewing a poem or book of poems, or
  • Discussing a favorite poet, or
  • Posting a vlog of yourself reading a poem or find a video of someone else reading one, or
  • Writing a poem yourself- any form
Or come up with something I haven't thought of to celebrate and post it on your blog. Let your imagination run wild.

I am not a fan of poetry at all. I never have been and I don't think I will become one. However, there are poets and poems that affect even me and I like to come back to them from time to time. In honor of National Poetry Month, I would like to introduce you to one such poet. It's Wislawa Szymborska,  a Polish poet and a Nobel Prize for Literature winner (1996), translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh. For more poems by this and other Polish poets, you can visit InfoPoland.
Hatred

See how efficient it still is,
how it keeps itself in shape--
our century's hatred.
How easily it vaults the tallest obstacles,
How rapidly it pounces, tracks us down.

It's not like other feelings.
At once both older and younger.
It gives birth itself to the reasons
that give it life.
When it sleeps, it's never eternal rest.
And sleeplessness won't sap its strength; it feeds it.

One religion or another--
whatever gets it ready, in position.
One fatherland or another--
whatever helps it get a running start.
Justice also works well at the outset
until hate gets its own momentum going.
Hatred.  Hatred.
Its face twisted in a grimace
of erotic ecstasy.

Oh these other feelings,
listless weaklings.
Since when does brotherhood
draw crowds?
Has compassion
ever finished first?
Does doubt ever really rouse the rabble?
Only hatred has just what it takes.

Gifted, diligent, hardworking.
Need we mention all the songs it has composed?
All the pages it has added to our history books?
All the human carpets it has spread
over countless city squares and football fields?

Let's face it:
it knows how to make beauty.
The splendid fire-glow in midnight skies.
Magnificent bursting bombs in rosy dawns.
You can't deny the inspiring pathos of ruins
and a certain bawdy humor to be found
in the sturdy column jutting from their midst.

Hatred is a matter of contrast--
between explosions and dead quiet,
red blood and white snow.
Above all, it never tires
of its leitmotif--the impeccable executioner
towering over its soiled victim.

It's always ready for new challenges.
If it has to wait awhile, it will.
They say it's blind.  Blind?
It has a sniper's keen sight
and gazes unflinchingly at the future
as only it can.