Monday, February 20, 2012

Pebble, a poem by Zbigniew Herbert.

Post 657 - Zbigniew Herbert was born in 1924 in Lvov, which was then in eastern Poland but is currently in the Ukraine. In a world which seems confusing to many, Herbert’s honesty and clarity are perhaps unparalleled among poets. He would be my choice as the most under-appreciated poet of our times.


The pebble 

is a perfect creature

equal to itself 

mindful of its limits

filled exactly 

with a pebbly meaning

with a scent that does not remind one of anything 

does not frighten anything away does not arouse desire

its ardour and coldness 

are just and full of dignity

I feel a heavy remorse 

when I hold it in my hand 

and its noble body 

is permeated by false warmth

- Pebbles cannot be tamed 

to the end they will look at us 

with a calm and very clear eye

Translated by Peter Dale Scott and Czeslaw Milosz

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