Wisława Szymborska, “Plato, or Why”

“Plato, or Why” by Wisława Szymborska

For unclear reasons
under unknown circumstances
Ideal Being ceased to be satisfied.

It could have gone on forever,
hewn from darkness, forged from light,
in its sleepy gardens above the world.

Why on earth did it start seeking thrills
in the bad company of matter?

What use could it have for imitators,
inept, ill-starred,
lacking all prospects for eternity?

Wisdom limping
with a thorn stuck in its heel?
Harmony derailed
by roiling waters?
Beauty
holding unappealing entrails
and Good—
why the shadow
when it didn’t have one before?

There must have been some reason,
however slight,
but even the Naked Truth, busy ransacking
the earth’s wardrobe,
won’t betray it.

Not to mention, Plato, those appalling poets,
litter scattered by the breeze from under statues,
scraps from that Great Silence up on high…

(Trans. Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczac)

Advertisements

~ by samofthetenthousandthings on May 21, 2014.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: