Thursday, June 10, 2010

Buffo - Wislawa Szymborska

Another by Szymborska, the Nobel Laureate from Poland.  I'm not quite sure how to categorize it.... I like its concept and breadth, the ironic tone that ends in a note of.... of what?... about love.  You tell me!

First, our love will die, alas,
then two hundred years will pass,
then we’ll meet again at last—

This time in the theater, played
by a couple of comedians,
him and her, the public’s darlings.

Just a little farce, with songs,
patter, jokes, and final bows,
a vaudeville comedy of manners,
certain to bring down the house.

You’ll amuse them endlessly
on the stage with your cravat
and your petty jealousy.

So will I, love’s silly pawn,
with my heart broken, my joy gone,
my crown tumbling to the ground.

To the laughter’s loud refrain,
we will meet and part again,
seven mountains, seven rivers
multiplying out pain.

If we haven’t had enough
of despair, grief, all that stuff,
lofty words will kill us off.

Then we’ll stand up, take our bows:
hope that you’ve enjoyed our show.
every patron with his spouse
will applaud, get up, and go.

They reenter their lives’ cages,
where love’s tiger sometimes rages,
but the beast’s too tame to bite.

We’ll remain the odd ones out,
silly heathens in their fools’caps,
listening to the small bells ringing
day and night.
                                                                  Wislawa Szymborska - Polish

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