The Joy of Writing

Yes, it’s poetry. Yes, I was an English major in college. Yes, it’s frowned upon in many manly coteries.

No, this does not compromise my virility, not after you read it. Because something like this cannot be expressed in any other medium. And if you’re a writer or enjoy superhuman writing, this is fucking art. It’s empowering. It’s inspiring. It’s easy to comprehend. And it’s by Wislawa Szymborska, the Polish poet who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1996. So unless you’ve won a Nobel Prize in Literature, shut the fuck up and read this. It’s all about the power of writing; hence the name.

The Joy of Writing

Where through the written forest runs that written doe?
Is it to drink from the written water,
which will copy her gentle mouth like carbon paper?
Why does she raise her head, is it something she hears?
Poised on four fragile legs borrowed from truth
she pricks up her ears under my fingers.
Stillness–this word also rustles across the paper
and parts
the branches brought forth by the word “forest.”

Above the blank page lurking, set to spring
are letters that may compose themselves all wrong,
besieging sentences
from which there is no rescue.

In a drop of ink there’s a goodly reserve
of huntsmen with eyes squinting to take aim,
ready to dash down the steep pen,
surround the doe and level their guns.

They forget that this is not real life.
Other laws, black on white, here hold sway.
The twinkling of an eye will last as long as I wish,
will consent to be divided into small eternities
full of bullets stopped in flight.
Forever, if I command it, nothing will happen here.
Against my will no leaf will fall
nor blade of grass bend under the full stop of a hoof.

Is there then such a world
over which I rule sole and absolute?
A time I bind with chains of signs?
An existence perpetuated at my command?

The joy of writing.
The power of preserving.
The revenge of a mortal hand.

—Wislawa Szymborska


~ by zactopia on January 20, 2010.

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