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Author: SZYMBORSKA, WISLAWA
Matches Found: 368


Szymborska, Wislawa    Poet's Biography
368 poems available by this author


16-MAY-73       
First Line: One of those many dates %that no longer ring a bell
Last Line: Nothing less than one whole second


A FEW WORDS ON THE SOUL    Poem Text    
First Line: We have a soul at times.
Subject(s): Soul


A FILM FROM THE SIXTIES    Poem Text    
First Line: This adult male. This person on earth.
Subject(s): Motion Pictures; Movies; Cinema


A FUNERAL    Poem Text    
First Line: So suddenly, who would've expected this'
Subject(s): Funerals; Burials


A GREAT MAN'S HOUSE    Poem Text    
First Line: It was written in marble in golden letters:
Subject(s): Houses


A MOMENT IN TROY    Poem Text    
First Line: Little girls -- / skinny, resigned
Subject(s): Troy


A TERRORIST IS WATCHING    Poem Text    
First Line: The bomb will go off in the bar at one-twenty
Subject(s): Terrorism


ACROBAT       
First Line: From trapeze to %to trapeze, in the hush that
Last Line: At this very passing moment that's just passed
Subject(s): Acrobats And Acrobatism


ACROBAT       
First Line: From trapeze to %to trapeze, in the stillness after
Last Line: At just this-now it's gone-moment


ADVERTISEMENT       
First Line: I'm a tranquilizer. %I'm effective at home
Last Line: There are no other takers. %there is no other devil anymore


ADVERTISEMENT       
First Line: I am a tranquilizer
Last Line: There's no other devil left


AGING OPERA SINGER       
First Line: Today he sings this way: tralala tra la
Last Line: Only %who remembers her now


ALIVE       
First Line: These days we just hold him
Last Line: Hugged by a death %whose permit has elapsed


ALLEGRO MA NON TROPPO       
First Line: Life, you're beautiful--I say
Last Line: Momentarily forgetting %to what end it runs and runs?


AMONG THE MULTITUDES       
First Line: I am who I am
Last Line: That is, %someone completely different


ANY CASE       
First Line: It could have happened
Last Line: How quickly your heart is beating in me


ANY CASE       
First Line: It could have happened
Last Line: How fast your heart is pounding in me


ARCHEOLOGY       
First Line: Well, my poor man. %seems we've made some progress in my field
Last Line: And the long gone %smell of burning
Variant Title(s): Archaeolog


ASTONISHMENT       
First Line: Why after all this one and not the rest?
Last Line: Just like the growling thing we call a dog?


ATLANTIS       
First Line: They were or they weren't. %on an island or not
Last Line: Nothing was called. %on this more-or-less atlantis


ATLANTIS       
First Line: They existed-or not- %on an island, or no-island
Last Line: In this atlantis, or no-place


ATLANTIS       
First Line: Did they exist or not
Last Line: On this plus minus atlantis


ATTEMPT       
First Line: Ah yes, sweet little song, how much you mock me
Last Line: I'm here but once to the marrow of my bones


AUTOTOMY       
First Line: In danger, the holothurian cuts itself in two
Last Line: The abyss doesn't divide us. %the abyss surrounds us


AUTOTOMY       
First Line: In danger the holothurian splits itself in two
Last Line: A chasm surrounds us


AUTOTOMY       
First Line: When in danger the sea-cucumber divides itself in two
Last Line: The chasm surrounds us


BALL       
First Line: As long as nothing can be known for sure
Last Line: While winking at us %unintentionally


BALLAD       
First Line: Hear the ballad 'murdered woman
Last Line: And she sings and combs her hair, %which still grows


BEHEADING       
First Line: Decolletage comes from decollo
Last Line: The detail %is unyielding


BEHEADING       
First Line: Decolletage comes from decollo
Last Line: The detail %is immutable


BIRDS RETURN       
First Line: This spring the birds have again come back too early
Last Line: Looks on all life as attempts repeatedly failed


BIRTHDAY    Poem Text    
Subject(s): Conduct Of Life


BIRTHDAY       
First Line: So much world all at once -- how it rustles and bustles!
Last Line: So aloofly precise and so fragilely proud


BODYBUILDERS' CONTEST       
First Line: From scalp to sole, all muscles in slow motion
Last Line: Is tribute to the force of vitamins


BORN       
First Line: So this is his mother. %this small woman
Last Line: This is my mother.' %was all he said


BORN OF WOMAN       
First Line: So that is his mother
Last Line: This is my mother,' %was all he said to me


BRIEF LIFE OF OUR ANCESTORS       
First Line: Only a few lived until thirty
Last Line: Life, even if long, will always be short. %too short to add anything to it


BRUEGHEL'S TWO MONKEYS       
First Line: This is what I see in my dreams about final exams
Last Line: He prompts me with a gentle %clinking of his chain


BUFFO       
First Line: First, our love will die, alas
Last Line: Listening to the small bells ringing %day and night


BYZANTINE MOSAIC       
First Line: O theotropia, my empress consort'
Last Line: I am thy twin in horror. %lead on, theotropia'


CAT IN AN EMPTY APARTMENT    Poem Text    
First Line: Dying -- you wouldn't do that to a cat
Subject(s): Cats


CAT IN AN EMPTY APARTMENT       
First Line: Die -- you can't do that to a cat
Last Line: And no leaps or squeals at least to start


CAT IN AN EMPTY APARTMENT       
First Line: Dying -- you wouldn't do that to a cat
Last Line: And no jumping, purring at first
Subject(s): Animals; Cats


CAT IN AN EMPTY APARTMENT       
First Line: Die-you can't do that to a cat. %what is it to do, the cat
Last Line: And-for the time being-no jumping up; %a buttoned lip


CAVE       
First Line: There's nothing on the walls %except for dampness
Last Line: Launched headfirst from the void, %you'd love to know


CENSUS    Poem Text    
First Line: Seven cities have been excavated
Subject(s): Cities; Urban Life


CENSUS       
First Line: Seven cities have been excavated
Last Line: No one knows what he does in his spare time
Subject(s): Cities


CENSUS       
First Line: On the hill where troy once stood
Last Line: No one knows what he does in his spare time


CENSUS       
First Line: On the hill where troy once stood
Last Line: No one knows what he does at home


CENTURY'S DECLINE       
First Line: Our twentieth century was going to improve on the others
Last Line: The most pressing questions %are naive ones


CERTAINTY       
First Line: Thou art certain, then, our ship hath touch'd upon
Last Line: Then cast upon this world's bohemian shore?


CERTAINTY       
First Line: Thou art certain, then, our ship hath touch'd upon
Last Line: And cast ashore on the bohemias of this world?


CHILDREN OF OUR AGE    Poem Text    
First Line: We are children of our age
Subject(s): Politics & Government


CHILDREN OF OUR AGE       
First Line: We are children of our age, %it's a political age
Last Line: Just as in times immemorial %and less political


CHILDREN OF THE EPOCH       
First Line: We are children of the epoch
Last Line: As in distant %and less political epochs


CLASSIC       
First Line: A few clumps of earth and his life will be forgotten
Last Line: Hear-ye hearers-now become but hearing


CLASSIC       
First Line: A few clods of dirt, and his life will be forgotten
Last Line: O listeners -- now listen -- be all ears


CLASSIFIEDS       
First Line: Whoever's found out what location
Last Line: I cannot be responsible. %mr. Day's widow, mrs. Night


CLOCHARD    Poem Text    
First Line: In paris, on a day that stayed morning until dusk
Subject(s): Paris, France


CLOCHARD       
First Line: In paris, on a day that stayed morning until dusk
Last Line: Enterprising eve %barbara, clare


CLOTHES       
First Line: You take off, we take off, they take off
Last Line: Whose usefulness has suddenly been prolonged


CLOUDS       
First Line: I'd have to be really quick %to describe clouds
Last Line: They don't have to be seen while sailing on


COLORATURA       
First Line: Poised beneath a twig-wigged tree
Last Line: The whole world up. And we're all ears


COMMEMORATION       
First Line: They made love in a hazel grove
Last Line: The aureole of lovers, %have mercy on them


CONTRIBUTION OF STATISTICS       
First Line: One of a hundred people
Last Line: Thus far this figure still remains unchanged


CONTRIBUTION ON PORNOGRAPHY       
First Line: There is no debauchery worse than thought


CONVERSATION WITH A STONE       
First Line: I knock at the stone's front door
Last Line: I don't have a door,' says the stone


CONVERSATION WITH STONE       
First Line: I knock on the stone's door. %-it's me, let me in
Last Line: #name?


COULD HAVE       
First Line: It could have happened. %it had to happen
Last Line: Listen, %how your heart pounds inside me


DEALINGS WITH THE DEAD       
First Line: Under what circumstances do you dream of the dead?
Last Line: Conveniently changing the topic of the dream? %waking up just at the right moment?


DINOSAUR SKELETON       
First Line: Beloved brethren, %we have before us an example of incorrect proportions
Last Line: So much responsibility in place of a vanished tail


DISCOVERY       
First Line: I believe in the great discovery
Last Line: My faith is strong, blind, and without foundation


DISCOVERY       
First Line: I believe in the great discovery
Last Line: My faith is strong, blind, and without foundation


DRINKING WINE    Poem Text    
First Line: He looked, and gave me beauty
Subject(s): Drinks & Drinking; Wine


DRINKING WINE       
First Line: He looked, and gave me beauty
Last Line: A nail from which a picture %has been removed
Subject(s): Drinks And Drinking


EFFORT       
First Line: Alack and woe, oh song: you're mocking me
Last Line: I'm one-time-only to the marrow of my bones


ELEGIAC CALCULATION       
First Line: How many of those I knew
Last Line: Which their absence demands


END AND THE BEGINNING       
First Line: After every war %someone has to tidy up
Last Line: With a cornstalk in his teeth, %gawking at clouds
Subject(s): War


END OF THE CENTURY       
First Line: It was supposed to be better than the previous ones, our 20th
Last Line: There are no questions more urgent %than questions that are naive


EPITAPH       
First Line: Here lies, old-fashioned as parentheses
Last Line: To weigh szymborska's fate for half a minute


EVALUATION OF AN UNWRITTEN POEM       
First Line: In the poem's opening words
Last Line: The answer can only be: no one q.E.D


EVERY CASE       
First Line: It could have happened
Last Line: How quickly your heart beats to me


EVERYTHING    Poem Text    
First Line: Everything - / a bumptious, stuck-up wor


EXPERIEMENT    Poem Text    
First Line: As a short subject before the main feature
Subject(s): Heads


EXPERIMENT       
First Line: As a short subject before the main feature
Last Line: The head %was happy


EXPERIMENT       
First Line: As a short before the main feature
Last Line: The head %was happy


FALLING FROM THE SKY       
First Line: Magic is dying out, although the heights
Last Line: That's some other spark nearby, having engine trouble'


FAMILY ALBUM    Poem Text    
First Line: No one in this family has ever died of love
Subject(s): Love


FAMILY ALBUM       
First Line: No one in this family has ever died of love
Last Line: Their vanishing was due to influenza
Subject(s): Love


FAMILY ALBUM       
First Line: No one in my family has ever died of love
Last Line: And they, consoled, would waste away from grippe


FILM FROM THE SIXTIES       
First Line: This adult male. This person on earth
Last Line: God of humor, do something about him today


FILM OF THE SIXTIES       
First Line: That grown-up man. Living on this earth of ours
Last Line: O god of humor, you've got to do something about him


FIRST LOVE       
First Line: They say %the first love's most important
Last Line: It introduces me to death


FIRST PHOTOGRAPH OF HITLER       
First Line: And who is this baby in a robe?
Last Line: The history teacher loosens his collar %and yawns over the students' notebooks


FOUR A.M.    Poem Text    
First Line: The hour between night and day.
Subject(s): Night; Bedtime


FOUR A.M.       
First Line: The hour between night and day
Last Line: If we've got to go on living


FOUR IN THE MORNING       
First Line: The hour from night to day
Last Line: If we're to go on living


FROZEN MOTION       
First Line: This isn't miss duncan, the noted danseuse?
Last Line: Never again, but still at nine a.M. Sharp


FUNERAL       
First Line: So sudden, who would have expected it'
Last Line: Call, we'll talk' %'number 4, or 12' %'I, this way' %'and we, that'


FUNERAL       
First Line: So suddenly, who could have guessed


FUNERAL (1)       
First Line: His skull, dug up from clay
Last Line: Still full of blood and hopes


FUNERAL (2)       
First Line: So suddenly, who could have seen it coming'
Last Line: I'm going this way' %'we're not'


GOING HOME    Poem Text    
First Line: He came home. Said nothing
Subject(s): Homecoming


GOING HOME       
First Line: He came home. Said nothing
Last Line: For now, though, he has curled up and gone to sleep
Subject(s): Homecoming


GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY       
First Line: They must have been different once
Last Line: A dove, seen identically, perched on the windowsill


GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY       
First Line: They must have been at one time unalike
Last Line: A dove identically seen has lighted in the window


GRATITUDE       
First Line: I owe a lot
Last Line: Love would say, %'I owe them nothing.'


GRATITUDE       
First Line: I owe a great deal
Last Line: On this open question


GREAT MAN'S HOUSE       
First Line: It was written in marble in golden letters
Last Line: And quercus rubra and ulmus and lanix %and fraxinus excelsior


GREAT MAN'S HOUSE       
First Line: The marble tells us in golden syllables
Last Line: And quercus rubra, and ulmus, and larix, %and fraxinus excelsior


GREAT NUMBER       
First Line: Four billion people on this earth
Last Line: How that open space is in me still - %I don't know


GREAT NUMBER       
First Line: Four billion people on this earth of ours
Last Line: That I do not know


GREETING THE SUPERSONICS       
First Line: Faster than sound today, %faster than light tomorrow
Last Line: We will have set off chasing %ourselves rather than you


HAPPY LOVE       
First Line: A happy love. Is it normal
Last Line: With such faith, they would find it easier to live and to die


HATRED    Poem Text    
First Line: See how efficient it still is,
Subject(s): Hate


HATRED       
First Line: See how efficient it still is
Last Line: And gazes unflinchingly at the future %as only it can


HATRED       
First Line: Look, how spry she still is %how well she holds up
Last Line: She looks bravely into the future %she alone


HERMITAGE       
First Line: You expected a hermit to live in the wilderness
Last Line: He's underneath the bench pretending he's a wolf


HERMITAGE       
First Line: You thought a hermit lived hermetically
Last Line: Fido is lying under a bench pretending he's a wolf


HIMALAYAN EXPEDITION NOT MADE       
First Line: Aha, so these are the himalayas
Last Line: On the snow %the snow eternal


HITLER'S FIRST PHOTOGRAPH    Poem Text     Recitation
First Line: And who's this little fellow in his itty-bitty robe?
Subject(s): Hitler, Adolf (1889-1945)


HITLER'S FIRST PHOTOGRAPH       
First Line: And who's this little fellow in his itty-bitty robe?
Last Line: A history teacher loosens his collar %and yawns over homework
Subject(s): Hitler, Adolf (1889-1945)


HOMECOMING       
First Line: He was back. Said nothing


HUNGER CAMP AT JASYO    Poem Text    
First Line: Write it. Write. In ordinary ink
Subject(s): Concentration Camps


HUNGER CAMP AT JASYO       
First Line: Write it. Write. In ordinary ink
Last Line: Write: how silent. %'yes'
Subject(s): Concentration Camps


I AM TOO CLOSE ...       
First Line: I am too close for him to dream of me
Last Line: A host of fallen angels perches on each tip, %waiting to be counted


I AM TOO NEAR       
First Line: I am too near to be dreamt of by him
Last Line: The fallen angels sit


I'M WORKING ON THE WORLD       
First Line: I'm working on the world, %revised, improved edition
Last Line: For the time being %on a saw


IN BROAD DAYLIGHT       
First Line: He would %vacation in a mountain boardinghouse, he would
Last Line: Be treated -- such a pity -- %as a commonplace event


IN HERACLITUS'S RIVER       
First Line: In heraclitus's river %a fish is busy fishing
Last Line: May only be the dark's embarrased wink


IN MULTITUDES       
First Line: I am who I am
Last Line: Someone completely different


IN PRAISE OF DREAMS       
First Line: In my dreams %I paint like vermeer van delft
Last Line: And the night before last a penguin, %clear as day


IN PRAISE OF DREAMS       
First Line: In my dreams %I paint like vermeer van delft
Last Line: And the day before yesterday a penguin. %with the utmost clarity


IN PRAISE OF FEELING BAD ABOUT YOURSELF    Poem Text    
First Line: The buzzard never says it is to blame.
Subject(s): Conscience


IN PRAISE OF FEELING BAD ABOUT YOURSELF       
First Line: The buzzard never says it is to blame
Last Line: A clear conscience is number one


IN PRAISE OF MY SISTER       
First Line: My sister does not write poems
Last Line: She'll tell us, everything, %everything, %everything


IN PRAISE OF MY SISTER       
First Line: My sister doesn't write poems
Last Line: Much %much to tell


IN PRAISE OF SELF-DEPRECATION       
First Line: The buzzard has nothing to fault himself with
Last Line: On the third planet of the sun


INNOCENCE       
First Line: Conceived on a mattress made of human hair
Last Line: It's been proved %tausend-und tausendmal


INTERVIEW WITH A CHILD       
First Line: The master hasn't been among us long
Last Line: That even the six legs of a cricket would not suffice


INTERVIEW WITH A CHILD       
First Line: The master hasn't been among us long
Last Line: That beetle's six legs wouldn't be enough


INTO THE ARK       
First Line: An endless rain is just beginning
Last Line: Lambs %cauliflowers %diapers


JOY OF WRITING       
First Line: Why does this written doe bound through these written woods?
Last Line: The power of preserving. %revenge of a mortal hand


JOY OF WRITING       
First Line: Where is a written deer running through a written
Last Line: A revenge of a mortal hand


JOY OF WRITING       
First Line: Where through the written forest runs that written doe?
Last Line: The revenge of a mortal hand


LANDSCAPE       
First Line: In the old master's landscape, %the trees have roots beneath the oil paint
Last Line: A bony man sits at the table %fixing a clock


LARGE NUMBER       
First Line: Four billion people on this earth
Last Line: Why there's still all this space inside me %I don't know


LAUGHTER       
First Line: The little girl I was -- %I know her, of course
Last Line: Open too wide %like the eyes of the dead


LAUGHTER       
First Line: A little girl that I was
Last Line: Like the eyes of the dead


LAUGHTER       
First Line: The little girl I was
Last Line: Like the eyes of the dead


LAZARUS TAKES A WALK       
First Line: The professor has died three times now
Last Line: What a shame. %this time he came so close


LESSON       
First Line: Subject king arthur predicate cuts direct
Last Line: Predicate marches off to indirect object war


LETTERS OF THE DEAD       
First Line: We read letters of the dead and are like helpless gods
Last Line: For by their calculations they should see in them %perfection


LETTERS OF THE DEAD       
First Line: We read the letters of the dead like helpless gods
Last Line: They've figured out they'll find perfection there


LETTERS OF THE DEAD       
First Line: We read the letters of the dead like helpless gods
Last Line: Their calculations tell them that they'll find perfection there


LIFE WHILE YOU WAIT       
Last Line: Will be forever changed into that which I have done


LIFE WHILE-YOU-WAIT       
First Line: Life while-you-wait. %performance without rehearsal
Last Line: And whatever I do %will become forever what I've done


LIKENESS       
First Line: If the gods' favorites die young
Last Line: A new navel blooms %on the artist's belly


LIST    Poem Text    


LITTLE GIRL TUGS AT THE TABLECLOTH       
First Line: She's been in this world for over a year
Last Line: This experiment must be completed. %and it will


LITTLE ON THE SOUL       
First Line: Periodically one has a soul
Last Line: Needs us for something too


LOT'S WIFE    Poem Text    
First Line: I looked back supposedly curious
Last Line: Possibly I fell face turned towards the city
Subject(s): Sodom


LOT'S WIFE       
First Line: They say I looked back out of curiosity
Last Line: It's possible I fell facing the city
Subject(s): Sodom


LOT'S WIFE       
First Line: I looked back supposedly curious
Subject(s): Sodom


LOT'S WIFE       
First Line: I looked back allegedly out of curiousity
Last Line: It is not out of the question %that I fell with my face toward the town


LOT'S WIFE       
First Line: They say I looked back from curiosity
Last Line: It could be that I fell, my face turned toward the city


LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT       
First Line: They're both convinced %that a sudden passion joined them
Last Line: And the book of events %is always open halfway through


MAYBE ALL THIS       
Last Line: Tell him he's got to see this for himself


MEDIEVAL ILLUMINATION       
First Line: O'er the greenest of hills
Last Line: Of itself, self-evidentliest


MEDIEVAL MINIATURE       
First Line: Up the verdantest of hills
Last Line: Oh yes, all that went without %even the slightest of sayings


MEMORY AT LAST    Poem Text    
First Line: Memory at last has what it sought
Subject(s): Memory


MEMORY AT LAST       
First Line: Memory at last has what it sought
Last Line: I touched the world as if it were a carved frame


MEMORY FINALLY       
First Line: Memory's finally found what it was after
Last Line: I touched the world, a chiseled picture-frame


MILLION LAUGHS, A BRIGHT HOPE       
First Line: So he wants happiness
Last Line: God's poor little creature %a veritable man


MIRACLE FAIR       
First Line: A common miracle
Last Line: An aditional miracle, as everything is additional, %what is unthinkable %is thinkable


MIRACLE FAIR       
First Line: The commonplace miracle: %that so many common miracles take place
Last Line: The unthinkable %can be thought


MIRACLE MART       
First Line: Common miracle


MOMENT IN TROY       
First Line: Little girls -- %skinny, resigned
Last Line: Little girls %returning
Subject(s): Troy


MOMENT IN TROY       
First Line: Little girls %skinny and despairing
Last Line: The little girls %going back


MONKEY       
First Line: Evicted from the garden long before
Last Line: Though we don't greet each other when we meet


MONOLOGUE FOR CASSANDRA       
First Line: I am cassandra
Last Line: The face that did not know it could be beautiful


MOTION       
First Line: You're crying here, but there they're dancing
Last Line: Who are you, lovely masquerader


MUSEUM       
First Line: Here are plates but no appetite
Last Line: Determined to keep living when I'm gone


MUSEUM       
First Line: There have been plates but no appetite
Last Line: And how much it would like to outlast me!


NEGATIVE    Poem Text    
First Line: Against a grayisch sky


NEGATIVE       
First Line: In the dun-colored sky
Last Line: That is, the storm before the calm


NEGATIVE       
First Line: Against a grayish sky %a grayer cloud
Last Line: Concerning life, %the storm before the calm)


NO END OF FUN    Poem Text    
First Line: So he's got to have happiness,
Subject(s): Happiness; Joy; Delight


NO END OF FUN       
First Line: So he's got to have happiness
Last Line: Poor little beggar. %a human, if ever we saw one


NO TITLE REQUIRED       
First Line: It's all come down to me sitting under a tree
Last Line: Is more important than the unimportant


NO TITLE REQUIRED       
First Line: It has come to this: I'm sitting under a tree
Last Line: That what's important %is more important than what's not


NOTE       
First Line: In the first showcase %there is a stone
Last Line: Through what kind of resemblance? What compared to what?


NOTES FROM A NONEXISTENT HIMALAYAN EXPEDITION       
First Line: So these are the himalayas. %mountains racing to the moon
Last Line: On the everlasting %snow


NOTHING TWICE       
First Line: Nothing can ever happen twice
Last Line: Just as two drops of water are


NOTHING'S A GIFT       
First Line: Nothing's a gift, it's all on loan
Last Line: And it's the only item %not included on the list


OLD FOLKS' HOME       
First Line: Her comes her highness -- well you know who I mean
Last Line: Monday through friday, with two weeks' vacation


ON DEATH, WITHOUT EXAGGERATION    Poem Text    
First Line: It can't tell a joke
Last Line: As if it were just learning on each of us
Subject(s): Death


ON DEATH, WITHOUT EXAGGERATION       
First Line: It can't take a joke, %find a star, make a bridge
Last Line: As far as you've come %can't be undone


ON THE BANKS OF THE STYX       
First Line: Dear individual soul, this is the styx
Last Line: Can make you, sorry soul, a bit less wretched


ON THE QUESTION OF PORNOGRAPHY    Poem Text    
First Line: No debauchery compares with thinking.
Subject(s): Pornography


ONCE WE KNEW THE WORLD WELL       
Last Line: It is extraordinary as old truths in a prayer


ONE VERSION OF EVENTS    Poem Text    
Subject(s): Life Choices


ONE VERSION OF EVENTS       
First Line: If we'd been allowed to choose
Last Line: And with something they seemed to have won in their hands


ONE VERSION OF EVENTS       
First Line: If indeed we were allowed to choose, %we must have been mulling things over
Last Line: And as if they were carrying the spoils? Of what?


ONION       
First Line: The onion, now that's something else
Last Line: Not for us such idiotic %onionoid perfections
Subject(s): Farm Life


OPINION ON THE QUESTION OF PORNOGRAPHY       
First Line: There's nothing more debauched than thinking
Last Line: And through a crack in the curtains %take a peep out at the street


OUR ANCESTORS' SHORT LIVES       
First Line: Few of them made it to thirty
Last Line: Too short for anything to be added


OVER WINE       
First Line: He glanced, gave me extra charm
Last Line: Where a picture used to be


PALAEOLITHIC FERTILITY FETISH       
First Line: The great mother has no face
Last Line: To form a zigzag over essence. %the ornament's last laugh


PARABLE       
First Line: Some fishermen pulled a bottle from the deep. It held a piece
Last Line: They all fel awkward. No one spoke. That's how it goes with %universal truths


PARABLE       
First Line: Some fishermen pulled a bottle from the deep. In it was a scrap
Last Line: They all felt uneasy. A silence fell. So it is with universal truths


PARTING WITH A VIEW       
First Line: I don't reproach the spring
Last Line: And only by enough, %to contemplate from afar


PARTING WITH A VIEW       
First Line: I don't begrudge the spring
Last Line: To reflect from afar


PEOPLE ON A BRIDGE       
First Line: A strange planet and strange these people on it
Last Line: The road without end, eternally to be walked, %and in their audacity they believe %it is really so


PEOPLE ON A BRIDGE       
First Line: A strange planet with its strange people


PEOPLE ON THE BRIDGE       
First Line: An odd planet, and those on it are odd, too
Last Line: And they have the nerve to believe %that this is really so


PERFECT       
First Line: Thou are perfect, them, our ship hath touch'd upon


PI       
First Line: Pi deserves our full admiration


PI       
First Line: The admirable number pi
Last Line: Nudging, always nudging a sluggish eternity %to continue


PIETA    Poem Text    
First Line: In the small town where the hero was born
Last Line: Walking past the next batch of tourists
Subject(s): Poland; Farewell


PIETA       
First Line: In the small town where the hero was born
Last Line: Walking past the next batch of tourists
Subject(s): Poland


PIETA       
First Line: In the town where the hero was born you may
Last Line: Passing by the new arrivals in the hall


PLATO, OR WHY ON EARTH       
First Line: For reasons unclear
Last Line: Scraps of the grand highland silence


PLOTTING WITH THE DEAD       
First Line: Under what conditions do you dream of the dead?
Last Line: Or waking up just in time?


POETRY READING    Poem Text    
First Line: To be a boxer, or not to be there
Subject(s): Poetry Readings


POETRY READING       
First Line: To be a boxer, or not to be there
Last Line: We start to read. O muse
Subject(s): Poetry Readings


PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN    Poem Text    
First Line: She must be willing to please


PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN       
First Line: Must present alternatives


PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN       
First Line: She must be willing to please
Last Line: For better, for worse, and for heaven's sake
Subject(s): Women


PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN       
First Line: She must be a variety. %change so that nothing will change
Last Line: For better, for worse, for heaven's sake


PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN       
First Line: She must be all-in-one
Last Line: For better, for worse, for goodness' sake


POSSIBILITIES    Poem Text    
First Line: I prefer the cinema.
Subject(s): Likes & Dislikes


POSSIBILITIES       
First Line: I prefer movies
Last Line: I prefer to take into consideration even this possibility, %that life has meaning


POSSIBILITIES       
First Line: I prefer movies. %I prefer cats
Last Line: That existence has its own reason for being


PROFESSOR WALKS AGAIN       
First Line: The professor has already died three times
Last Line: Once again he pulls away from us


PROLOGUE TO A COMEDY       
First Line: He made himself a glass violin so he could see what music looks
Last Line: A fool like this for her fit amusement and innocent pleasure


PSALM       
First Line: Oh, the leaky boundaries of man-made states!
Last Line: The rest is mixed vegetation, subversive moles, and wind


PSALM       
First Line: How leaky are the borders of man-made states
Last Line: The rest is mixed forest, undermining moles, and wind


PSALM       
First Line: Oh, how porous are the boundaries of man-made states!
Last Line: The rest is all mixed forests, the burrowing of moles, and wind


RAILROAD STATION       
First Line: My nonarrival in the city of n
Last Line: Somewhere else. %how these little words ring


REAL WORLD       
First Line: The real world doesn't take flight
Last Line: Along our escape route %where reality isn't expecting us


REALITY DEMANDS    Poem Text    
First Line: Reality demands / that we also mention this
Subject(s): Earth; War; World


REALITY DEMANDS       
First Line: Reality demands %that we also mention this
Last Line: And we can't help %laughing at that
Subject(s): Earth; War


REALITY REQUIRES    Poem Text    
First Line: Reality requires / that we speak of these things: / life rolls on
Subject(s): Reality


REPORT FROM THE HOSPITAL    Poem Text    
First Line: We used matches to draw lots; who would visit him
Subject(s): Hospitals; Death; Dead, The


REPORT FROM THE HOSPITAL       
First Line: We used matches to draw lots: who would visit him
Last Line: The hospital smell makes me sick


REPORT FROM THE HOSPITAL       
First Line: We drew lots, who would go and see him
Last Line: The smell of a hospital makes me sick


REST       
First Line: Her mad songs over, ophelia darts out
Last Line: Non omnis moriar of love


RETURN BAGGAGE       
First Line: The cemetery plot for tiny graves
Last Line: Only stony greek has words for that


RETURNING BIRDS       
First Line: This spring the birds came back again too early
Last Line: Sees life as a chain of failed attempts


RETURNS    Poem Text    
First Line: He came home. Said nothing
Subject(s): Homecoming


RETURNS       
First Line: He came home. Said nothing
Last Line: For now he's curled up, fallen asleep
Subject(s): Homecoming


REVIEW OF AN UNWRITTEN POEM       
First Line: In the first words of the poem
Last Line: Certainly no one. Didn't I tell you?


RUBEN'S WOMEN       
First Line: Herculasses, a feminine fauna %naked as the crashing of barrels
Last Line: A moustached apollo astride a sweaty steed %enters into the steaming bedchamber


RUBENS' WOMEN       
First Line: Titanettes, female fauna
Last Line: Riding straight into the seething bedchamber


SEANCE       
First Line: Happenstance reveals its tricks
Last Line: And for a moment we are filled with joy %radiant and deceptive


SEEN FROM ABOVE       
First Line: A dead beetle lies on the path through the field
Last Line: That always claims the right of way


SEEN FROM ABOVE       
First Line: On a dirt road lies a dead beetle
Last Line: A death that enjoys an extorted primacy


SEEN FROM ABOVE       
First Line: On a dirt road lies a dead beetle
Last Line: A death that enjoys an extorted primacy


SHADOW       
First Line: My shadow is a fool whose feelings
Last Line: Across the tracks; the fool, not I


SILENCE OF PLANTS       
First Line: Our one-sided acquaintance %grows quite nicely
Last Line: Urgent in this hurried life %and postponed to never


SILENCE OF PLANTS       
First Line: The one-sided acquaintance between me, and you, %is proceeding, in a way
Last Line: Urgent, in this rush of life; %-postponed, infinitely


SKELETON OF A DINOSAUR       
First Line: Beloved brethren, %we see here an instance of bad proportions
Last Line: Highest of judges, %what a responsibility in place of a tail


SKY       
First Line: I should have begun with this: the sky
Last Line: My identifying features %are rapture and despair


SLAPSTICK       
First Line: If there are angels, %I doubt they read
Last Line: From laughter, if nothing else


SMALL HOURS       
First Line: I am still asleep
Last Line: And the dawning expertly turned into the morning


SMILES    Poem Text    
First Line: The world would rather see hope than just hear
Subject(s): Hope; Statesmen; Optimism


SMILES       
First Line: The world would rather see hope than just hear
Last Line: So be it, then. It isn't all that bad


SNAPSHOT OF A CROWD       
First Line: In the snapshot of a crowd
Last Line: Where its memories, if any, %must reach deep into the future


SOLILOQUY FOR CASSANDRA       
First Line: Here I am, cassandra. %and this is my city under ashes
Last Line: A face that didn't know it could be beautiful


SOME PEOPLE    Poem Text    
First Line: Some people fleei some other people
Subject(s): Refugees


SOME PEOPLE       
First Line: Some people flee some other people
Last Line: Abd will let them live some sort of life


SOME PEOPLE LIKE POETRY       
First Line: Some people -- %that means not everyone
Last Line: Like a redemptive handrail


SPEECH AT THE LOST-AND-FOUND       
First Line: I lost a few goddesses while moving south to north
Last Line: About a blue umbrella left yesterday on a bus


SPEECH IN THE LOST-AND-FOUND OFFICE       
First Line: I lost a few goddesses on my way from south to north
Last Line: Who yesterday merely lost an umbrella in a streetcar


STAGE FRIGHT    Poem Text    
First Line: Poets and writers
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets; Writing & Writers


STAGE FRIGHT       
First Line: Poets and writers. %so the saying goes
Last Line: Against a crimson curtain's %purple fringe?


STAGE FRIGHT       
First Line: Poets and writers, as the saying goes
Last Line: With purple fringes


STAGE-FRIGHT       
First Line: Poets and writers
Last Line: Clear now only in the semi-darkness %against a burgundy curtain %with violet fringes?


STARVATION CAMP NEAR JASLO       
First Line: Write it down. Write it. With ordinary ink
Last Line: Write how quiet it is. %yes


STILL    Poem Text    
First Line: In sealed box cars travel
Subject(s): Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945); Jews; Shoah; Judaism


STILL       
First Line: In sealed box cars travel
Last Line: Cor-rect, cor-rect, crash of silence on silence
Subject(s): Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945); Jews


STILL       
First Line: Across the country's plains
Last Line: That's-a-fact, drums on my silent door


STILL       
First Line: In sealed box cars travel
Last Line: Cor-rect, cor-rect, crash of silence on silence


STILL ALIVE       
First Line: Now we just embrace
Last Line: Clasped in a death limited by statute


STILL LIFE WITH A BALLOON       
First Line: Returning memories? %no, at the time of death
Last Line: Let someone else shout 'look!' %and I will cry


STILL LIFE WITH A TOY BALLOON       
First Line: Instead of the death-hour
Last Line: Let someone call after you, oh! %that I may cry


STILL LIFE WITH TOY BALLOON       
First Line: Instead of the return of memories
Last Line: So I can weep


SUICIDE'S ROOM       
First Line: I'll bet you think the room was empty
Last Line: Inside the empty envelope propped up against a cup


SUICIDE'S ROOM       
First Line: You certainly think that the room was empty
Last Line: In the empty envelope propped against the glass


SURPLUS       
First Line: A new star has been discovered
Last Line: And the acacia twig over there on the left. %'I see,' I say


SYNOPSIS       
First Line: Job, sorely tried in both flesh and possessions, curses man's fate
Last Line: Not want to ruin a masterpiece


TALE BEGUN       
First Line: The world is never ready %for the birth of a child
Last Line: Spare him %that one gift, %o heavenly powers


TALE RETOLD       
First Line: Job, afflicted in body and possessions, curses his fate as a man
Last Line: To spoil a masterwork


TARSIER       
First Line: I am a tarsier and a tarsier's son
Last Line: Know well how essential it is to be a tarsier


TARSIER       
First Line: I tarsier, son of tarsier
Last Line: Know how important it is to be tarsier


TERRORIST IS WATCHING       
First Line: The bomb will go off in the bar at one-twenty
Last Line: The bomb goes off
Subject(s): Terrorism


TERRORIST, HE WATCHES       
First Line: The bomb will go off in the bar at one twenty p.M.
Last Line: The bomb, it goes off
Subject(s): Terrorism


TERRORIST, HE WATCHES       
First Line: The bomb will explode in the bar at twenty past one
Subject(s): Terrorism


TERRORIST, HE WATCHES       
First Line: The bomb will go off in the bar at one twenty p.M.
Last Line: The bomb, it goes off


TERRORIST, HE'S WATCHING       
First Line: The bomb in the bar will explode at thirteen twenty
Last Line: Yes, now. %the bomb, it explodes
Subject(s): Terrorism


THANK-YOU NOTE       
First Line: I owe so much %to those I don't love
Last Line: Would be love's answer %to this open question


THE ACROBAT    Poem Text    
First Line: From trapeze to / to trapeze, in the hush that
Subject(s): Acrobats And Acrobatism


THE END AND THE BEGINNING    Poem Text    
First Line: After every war / someone has to tidy up
Subject(s): War


THE JOY OF WRITING    Poem Text    
First Line: Where is the written doe headed, through these written woods
Last Line: Revenge of a mortal hand
Subject(s): Writing & Writers


THE ONION    Poem Text    
First Line: The onion, now that's something else
Subject(s): Farm Life; Agriculture; Farmers


THE SILENCE OF PLANTS    Poem Text    
First Line: A one-sided relationship is developing quite well between you and me.
Subject(s): Plants; Relationships; Planting; Planters


THE TERRORIST, HE WATCHES    Poem Text    
First Line: The bomb will explode in the bar at twenty past one
Last Line: The bomb, it explodes
Subject(s): Terrorism


THE TWO APES OF BRUEGHEL    Poem Text    
First Line: Here's my dream of a final exam
Subject(s): Animals; Apes; Gorillas; Chimpanzees; Gibbons; Orangutans


THE WOMEN OF RUBENS    Poem Text    
First Line: Giantesses, female fauna
Subject(s): Rubens, Peter Paul (1577-1640); Women


THEATER IMPRESSIONS    Poem Text    
First Line: For me a tragedy's most important act is the sixth
Subject(s): Plays & Playwrights


THEATER IMPRESSIONS       
First Line: For me a tragedy's most important act is the sixth
Last Line: It clutches at my throat
Subject(s): Plays And Playwrights


THEATRE IMPRESSIONS       
First Line: For me the tragedy's most important act is the sixth
Last Line: Does its duty %and grabs me by the throat


THEATRICAL IMPRESSIONS    Poem Text    
First Line: In tragedy I find the sixth act most important
Last Line: Grips me by the throat
Subject(s): Plays & Playwrights


THEATRICAL IMPRESSIONS       
First Line: In tragedy I find the sixth act most important
Subject(s): Plays And Playwrights


THERE BUT FOR THE GRACE       
First Line: It could have happened
Last Line: How fast your heart beats in me


THIS DAY    Poem Text    
First Line: The shrill of doorbell still returning to my ears
Subject(s): News; Politics & Government


THOMAS MANN       
First Line: Dear mermaids, it was bound to happen
Last Line: With its hand miraculously feathered by a fountain pen


THOMAS MANN       
First Line: Dear mermaids, it had to be this way
Last Line: His hand wondrously quilled with a fountain pen


THREE ODDEST WORDS       
First Line: When I pronounce the word future
Last Line: I made something no nonbeing can hold


THREE WORDS MOST STRANGE       
First Line: As I utter the word future
Last Line: I create some-thing; being bursts out of non-being


TO MY FRIENDS       
First Line: Well-versed in the expanses %that stretch from earth to stars
Last Line: Just as after a salvo %plaster drops from the wall


TO MY HEART, ON SUNDAY       
First Line: Thank you, my heart: %you don't dawdle, you keep going
Last Line: The usual preholiday rush %continues underneath my ribs


TO THE ARK       
First Line: The endless rain starts falling
Last Line: To the happy islands %drying in the sun, %to the little lambs, %cauliflowers, %and diapers


TORTURE       
First Line: Nothing has changed
Last Line: While the body is and is and is 5and has no place to go
Subject(s): Bodies; Capital Punishment; Pain


TORTURES    Poem Text    
First Line: Nothing has changed
Subject(s): Torture


TORTURES       
First Line: Nothing has changed. %the body is a reservoir of pain
Last Line: Whereas the body is and is and is %and has nowhere to go


TOWER OF BABEL       
First Line: What time is it? Oh yes, I'm so happy
Last Line: What time it is, and I don't care


TRAVEL ELEGY       
First Line: Everything's mine but just on loan
Last Line: A single motion of the neck


TRAVEL ELEGY       
First Line: All is mine but nothing owned
Last Line: For excess and for lack %a single movement of the neck


TRUE LOVE    Poem Text    
First Line: True love. Is it normal
Subject(s): Love - Nature Of


TRUE LOVE       
First Line: True love. Is it normal
Last Line: Their faith will make it easier for them to live and die
Subject(s): Love - Nature Of


TURN OF THE CENTURY       
First Line: It was supposed to be better than the others, our 20th century
Last Line: There are no questions more urgent than %the naive ones


TWO APES OF BRUEGHEL       
First Line: Here's my dream of a final exam
Last Line: She prompts me %with a soft clanging of the chain
Subject(s): Animals; Apes


TWO MONKEYS BY BRUEGHEL       
First Line: I keep dreaming of my graduation exam
Last Line: With a soft jingling of the chain


UNDER A CERTAIN LITTLE STAR       
First Line: I aplogize to coincidence for calling it necessity
Last Line: And later try hard to make them seem light


UNDER A CERTAIN LITTLE STAR       
First Line: My apologies to chance for calling it necessity
Last Line: Do not hold it against me, o speech, that I borrow weighty words, %and then labor to make them light


UNDER ONE SMALL STAR       
First Line: My apologies to chance for calling it necessary
Last Line: Then labor heavily so that they may seem light


UNEXPECTED MEETING       
First Line: We treat each other with exceeding courtesy
Last Line: Don't know how to talk to one another


UNEXPECTED MEETING       
First Line: We are very polite to each other
Last Line: Our people %have nothing to say


UNWRITTEN POEM REVIEWED       
First Line: In the opening words of her composition


UTOPIA    Poem Text    
First Line: Island where all becomes clear
Subject(s): Utopia


UTOPIA       
First Line: Island where all becomes clear
Last Line: Into unfathomable life
Subject(s): Utopia


UTOPIA       
First Line: An island where all is elucidated
Last Line: In life beyond understanding


UTOPIA       
First Line: An island on which all becomes clear
Last Line: In a life that's not for comprehending


VIETNAM    Poem Text    
First Line: Woman, what's your name?' 'I don't know.'
Subject(s): Children; Mothers; Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975; Childhood


VIETNAM       
First Line: Woman, what's your name?' 'I don't know'
Last Line: Are those your children?' 'yes'


VIETNAM       
First Line: Woman, what's your name?-I don't know
Last Line: Are these your children?-yes


VIEW WITH A GRAIN OF SAND       
First Line: We call it a grain of sand %but it calls itself neither grain nor sand
Last Line: The character is invented, his haste is make-believe, %his news inhuman


VOCABULARY       
First Line: La pologne? La pologne? Isn't it terribly cold here?' she asked
Last Line: Pas du tout,' I answer icily


VOICES       
First Line: You can't move an inch, my dear marcus emilius
Last Line: Appius papius: march on! The world has got to end somewhere


VOICES       
First Line: You scarcely move your foot when out of nowhere spring
Last Line: O appius pappius: forward. Somewhere out there the world %must have an end


WARNING       
First Line: Don't take jesters into outer space
Last Line: So much good money lost in outer space


WARNING       
First Line: Don't take scoffers into space
Last Line: So much money thrown into outer space


WATER       
First Line: A drop of water fell on my hand
Last Line: Is written on waters of babel


WATER       
First Line: A raindrop fell on my hand, %crafted from the ganges and the nile
Last Line: Whenever wherever whatever has happened %is written on the water of babel


WATER       
First Line: A drop of rain fell on my hand
Last Line: Is written on the water of babel


WE'RE EXTREMELY FORTUNATE    Poem Text    
First Line: We're extremely fortunate / not to know precisely
Subject(s): Earth; World


WE'RE EXTREMELY FORTUNATE       
First Line: We're extremely fortunate %not to know precisely
Last Line: The sign 'no walking on the grass' %a symptom of lunacy
Subject(s): Earth


WITHOUT A TITLE       
First Line: The two of them were left so long alone
Last Line: Would shatter the entire universe


WOMAN'S PORTRAIT       
First Line: Must be open to choices
Last Line: For good, for bad and for goodness' sake


WOMEN OF RUBENS       
First Line: Giantesses, female fauna
Last Line: Mount rides into the seething alcove
Subject(s): Rubens, Peter Paul (1577-1640); Women


WONDERMENT       
First Line: Why to excess then in one single person?
Last Line: Stares the growling that's called a dog?


WRITING A RESUME       
First Line: What needs to be done? %fill out the application
Last Line: The clatter of paper shredders


WRITTEN IN A HOTEL       
First Line: Kyoto is fortunate, %fortunate and full of palaces
Last Line: It's not kyoto, %not kyoto for sure


WRITTEN IN A HOTEL       
First Line: Kyoto has good luck
Last Line: Not kyoto for sure


WRONG NUMBER       
First Line: A telephone's been ringing in a gallery room


WRONG NUMBER       
First Line: At midnight, in an empty, hushed art gallery
Last Line: Though he's got the wrong number? He lives on, so he errs