LUDZIE NA MOCIE PEOPLE ON A BRIDGE
Wisawa Szymborska - (Polish) trans. Joanna Trzeciak
Dziwna planeta i dziwni na niej ci ludzie.
Ulegaj czasowi, ale nie chc go uzna.
Maj sposoby, eby swój sprzeciw wyrazi
Robi obrazki jak na przykad ten:

Nic szczególnego na pierwszy rzut oka.
Wida wod.
Wida jeden z jej brzegów.
Wida czóno mozolnie pynce pod prd.
Wida nad wod most i wida ludzi na mocie.
Ludzie wyranie przyspieszaj kroku,
bo wanie z ciemnej chmury
zacz deszcz ostro zacina.

Cala rzecz w tym, e nic nie dzieje si dalej.
Chmura nie zmienia barwy ani ksztatu.
Deszcz ani si nie wzmaga, ani nie ustaje.
Czóno pynie bez ruchu.
Ludzie na mocie biegn
cile tam, co przed chwil.

Trudno tu obej si bez komentarza:
To nie jest wcale obrazek niewinny.
Zatrzymano tu czas.
Przestano liczy si z prawami jego.
Pozbawiono go wpywu na rozwój wypadków.
Zlekcewaono go i zniewaono.

Za spraw buntownika,
jakiego Hiroshige Utagawy,
(istoty, która zreszt
dawno i jak naley minla),
czas potkn si i upad.

Moe to tylko psota bez znaczenia,
wybryk na skal paru zaledwie galaktyk,
na wszelki jednak wypadek
dodajmy, co nastpuje:

Bywa tu w dobrym tonie
wysoko sobie ceni ten obrazek,
zachwyca si nim i wzrusza od pokole.

S tacy, którym i to nie wystarcza.
Sysz nawet szum deszczu,
czuj chód kropel na karkach i plecach,
patrz na most i ludzi,
jakby widzieli tam siebie,
w tym samym biegu nigdy nie dobiegajcym
drog bez koca, wiecznie do odbycia
i wierz w swoim zuchwalstwie,
e tak jest rzeczywicie.
Strange planet and strange people on it.
They yield to time, but don't want to recognize time.
They have their ways of expressing resistance.
They make pictures such as this:


Nothing remarkable at first glance.
One can see water,
one riverbank,
a narrow boat strenuously moving upstream,
a bridge over the water,
and people on the bridge.
They are clearly picking up the pace,
as rain starts lashing down from a dark cloud.

The point is, nothing happens further.
The cloud changes neither shape nor color.
The rain neither subsides nor surges.
The boat moves without moving.
The people on the bridge run
exactly where they ran before.


It is hard to get by without commentary:
This is not at all an innocent picture.
Time's been stopped here,
its laws no longer consulted.
It's been denied impact on the course of events,
disregarded and dishonored.

Thanks to a rebel,
one Hiroshige Utagawa
(a being who, by the way,
passed away, as is proper, long ago),
time stumbled and fell.


Perhaps it is merely a prank without much meaning,
a whim on the scale of just a few galaxies,
but just in case,
let's add what happens next:

For generations it has been considered in good taste
to hold this painting in high esteem,
to praise it and be greatly moved by it.


For some, even that is not enough.
They hear the patter of rain,
feel the chill of raindrops on necks and shoulders,
they look at the bridge and the people on it
as if they saw themselves there,
in that never-ending race
along the endless road, to be traveled for eternity
and they have the audacity to believe
that it is real.

Click here 1 for another translation of this poem.

Copyright © Wislawa Szymborska; Trans. Copyright © Joanna Trzeciak 2001 - publ. W.W.Norton & Co.


next
index
translator's next