Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Love At First Sight - W. Szymborska

Wislawa Szymborska looks like someone's sweet grandmother (which she probably also is!), but in the realm of literature she is in rarefied company as a Nobel Prize winner.  As I am not an academic, I won't expound on what makes her worthy.  As a reader of poetry, I can tell you that she is easy to read and understand, her word choices from every-day usage.  But what she constructs with them!  It's like being given the same set of Lego blocks, and she builds Cinderella's Castle in Disneyworld and we - or at least I - make a squarish Soviet-era building.

This poem appeals to my sense of Fate (or lack thereof) about the things that happen to us.  Is there inevitability and all that preceded it was preparation for the main event? 
Love At First Sight

They would be quite surprised,
that for a long time
chance had been toying with them.

Not altogether ready
to turn into their fate,
it would draw them together, pull them apart,
cut them off on their path,
and, swallowing a giggle,
leap to the side.

There were doorknobs and doorbells,
where touch lay on touch
Suitcases next to one another in the baggage check.
Maybe one night the same dream,
blurred upon awakening.

Every beginning, after all,
is nothing but a sequel,
and the book of events
is always open in the middle.

Wyslawa Szymborska - Polish

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