winter: (androgyne - prettyboy)
[personal profile] winter
Die—you can’t do that to a cat.
Since what can a cat do
in an empty apartment?
Climb the walls?
Rub up against the furniture?
Nothing seems different here
but nothing is the same.
Nothing’s been moved
but there’s more space.
And at nighttime no lamps are lit.

Footsteps on the staircase,
but they’re new ones.
The hand that puts fish on the saucer
has changed, too.

Something doesn’t start
at its usual time.
Something doesn’t happen
as it should.
Someone was always, always here,
then suddenly disappeared
and stubbornly stays disappeared.

Every closet’s been examined.
Every shelf has been explored.
Excavations under the carpet turned up nothing.
A commandment was even broken:
papers scattered everywhere.
What remains to be done.
Just sleep and wait.

Just wait till he turns up,
just let him show his face.
Will he ever get a lesson
on what not to do to a cat.
Sidle toward him
as if unwilling
and ever so slow
on visibly offended paws,
and no leaps or squeals at least to start.

(translated by Stanisław Barańczak and Clare Cavanagh)

(no subject)

Date: 2012-02-02 12:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, that's so sad... And it reminds me of my Gran's old dog, Raffles, when my Grandad died. Although I seem to remember Raffles appeared to realise Grandad wasn't there any more, and decided he was now the man of the house and had better look after Gran! Bless him...

(no subject)

Date: 2012-02-02 01:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's lovely. Thank you for sharing.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-02-02 02:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wonderful. I don't think I'd read that poem before.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-02-02 03:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I just checked--the one poetry collection I have of hers is translated by Baranczak and Cavanagh. They read so well. Maybe I'll add Polish to the list of languages I mean to learn someday. I think "Notes from a Nonexistent Himalayan Expedition" might be my favorite poem.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-02-10 10:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I like that.


winter: (Default)
Beth Winter

October 2014


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