Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
European Tribune - Comments - Sasha Hemon, or, Turning sad European Lemons into delicious American Lemonade!European Tribune - Comments - Sasha Hemon, or, Turning sad European Lemons into delicious American Lemonade!
Moja wierna mowo,
służyłem tobie.
Co noc stawiałem przed tobą miseczki z kolorami,
żebyś miała i brzozę i konika polnego i gila
zachowanych w mojej pamięci.
Faithful mother tongue,
I have been serving you.
Every night, I used to set before you little bowls of colors
so you could have your birch, your cricket, your finch
as preserved in my memory.
Trwało to dużo lat.
Byłaś moją ojczyzną bo zabrakło innej.
Myślałem że będziesz także pośredniczką
pomiędzy mną i dobrymi ludźmi,
choćby ich było dwudziestu, dziesięciu,
albo nie urodzili się jeszcze.
This lasted many years.
You were my native land; I lacked any other.
I believed that you would also be a messenger
between me and some good people
even if they were few, twenty, ten
or not born, as yet.
Teraz przyznaję się do zwątpienia.
Są chwile kiedy wydaje się, że zmarnowałem życie.
Bo ty jesteś mową upodlonych,
mową nierozumnych i nienawidzących
siebie bardziej może od innych narodów,
mową konfidentów,
mową pomieszanych,
chorych na własną niewinność.
Now, I confess my doubt.
There are moments when it seems to me I have squandered my life.
For you are a tongue of the debased,
of the unreasonable, hating themselves
even more than they hate other nations,
a tongue of informers,
a tongue of the confused,
ill with their own innocence.
Ale bez ciebie kim jestem.
Tylko szkolarzem gdzieś w odległym kraju,
a success, bez lęku i poniżeń.
No tak, kim jestem bez ciebie.
Filozofem takim jak każdy.
But without you, who am I?
Only a scholar in a distant country,
a success, without fears and humiliations.
Yes, who am I without you?
A philosopher like everyone else.
Rozumiem, to ma być moje wychowanie:
gloria indywidualności odjęta,
Grzesznikowi z moralitetu
czerwony dywan podścieła Wielki Chwał,
a w tym samym czasie latarnia magiczna
rzuca na płótno obrazy ludzkiej i boskiej udręki.
I understand, this is meant as my education:
the glory of individuality is taken away,
Fortune spreads a red carpet
before the sinner in a morality play
while on the linen backdrop a magic lantern throws images of human and divine torment.
Moja wierna mowo,
może to jednak ja muszę ciebie ratować.
Więc będę dalej stawiać przed tobą miseczki z kolorami
jasnymi i czystymi jeżeli to możliwe,
bo w nieszczęściu potrzebny jakiś ład czy piękno.
My faithful mother tongue,
perhaps after all it's I who must try to save you.
So I will continue to set before you little bowls of colors
bright and pure if possible,
for what is needed in misfortune is a little order and beauty.

translation by Czeslaw Milosz and Robert Pinsky with minor modifications.

by MarekNYC on Thu Jun 26th, 2008 at 12:15:08 AM EST
Who is the author?

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Jun 26th, 2008 at 11:18:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oops, it's a Milosz poem, written in the sixties during his extended period as a prof in Berkeley and non-person in Poland.
by MarekNYC on Thu Jun 26th, 2008 at 01:45:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the clarification.  

For a fleeting moment I thought you might be some rockstar poet who'd worked with the likes of Milosz and Pinsky!

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Jun 26th, 2008 at 02:38:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

Occasional Series