Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Morning Poetry

A Song on the End of the World

On the day the world ends

A bee circles a clover,
A fisherman mends a glimmering net.
Happy porpoises jump in the sea,
By the rainspout young sparrows are playing
And the snake is gold-skinned as it should always be.

On the day the world ends
Women walk through the fields under their umbrellas,
A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn,
Vegetable peddlers shout in the street
And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island,
The voice of a violin lasts in the air
And leads into a starry night.

And those who expected lightning and thunder
Are disappointed.
And those who expected signs and archangels’ trumps
Do not believe it is happening now.
As long as the sun and the moon are above,
As long as the bumblebee visits a rose,
As long as rosy infants are born
No one believes it is happening now.

Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet
Yet is not a prophet, for he’s much too busy,
Repeats while he binds his tomatoes:
There will be no other end of the world,
There will be no other end of the world.

Warsaw, 1944
Czeslaw Milosz 1911–2004
Translated, Anthony Milosz

11 comments:

cristie said...

a mellow thought for me today. thank you. xox

Suz said...

oh such a good one

HKatz said...

It's beautiful, eerie, and has something so gentle about it too. But also a note of caution - that we can't take the world or our lives for granted.

I'm also intrigued about the fact that he wrote this in Warsaw, 1944 (at least, those words are at the bottom of the poem). The Jewish population of the city was pretty much wiped out. There was a huge war going on all around. For people it might have felt like a sign of the world ending. But then people carried on with their day to day lives, even in the midst of atrocities (including saving people from atrocities or witnessing/participating in atrocities).

Marilyn said...

And it comes gently to an end, but life continues in a different format. I love that rosy infants are still born and the old man continues binding his tomatoes. Sweet!

Tracy said...

This is profoundly beautiful... I've not seen this one in a long time, Thank you Relyn. Wishing you & yours a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. :o) ((HUGS))

Ms. K @ Write On Thyme said...

Love his words! My favorite is 'Gift':
"A day so happy, Fog lifted early, I worked in the garden. Hummingbirds were stopping over honeysuckle flowers. There was no thing on earth I wanted to possess. I knew no one worth my envying him. Whatever evil I had suffered, I forgot. To think that once I was the same man did not embarrass me. In my body I felt no pain. When straightening up, I saw the blue sea and sails."
He paints amazing pictures!
Thank you for this one and Happy Thanksgiving to you, Relyn!
Kirsten

grandelights said...

I'm a new blogger who just came across your site. I can't wait to spend some quality time reading all your posts. I'm thinking they are all as great as the two I've read.

Mrs. E said...

Wow! That's all I can say!

Writer Lady said...

The poem is just lovely. Thoughtful too. Thanks for sharing it.

Patti said...

Stopping by to wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving! Enjoy all it offers...

susanna said...

Ohhhh...this is...this is...perfect. Don't you love writers who can paint images with their words. I'm writing Czeslaw Milosz down right now so I can look up his written work. Thank you, Relyn.

Oldies, but Goodies