LUDZIE NA MOCIE PEOPLE ON A BRIDGE
Wisawa Szymborska - (Polish) trans. Adam Czerniawski
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.
A strange planet with its strange people.
They yield to time but don't recognise it.
They have ways of expressing their protest.
They make pictures, like this one for instance:


At first glance, nothing special.
You see water.
You see a shore.
You see a boat sailing laboriously upstream.
You see a bridge over the water and people on the bridge.
The people are visibly quickening their step,
because a downpour has just started
lashing sharply from a dark cloud.


The point is that nothing happens next.
The cloud doesn't change its colour or shape.
The rain neither intensifies nor stops.
The boat sails on motionless.
The people on the bridge
run just where they were a moment ago.

It's difficult to avoid remarking here:
this isn't by any means an innocent picture.
Here time has been stopped.
Its laws have been ignored.
It's been denied influence on developing events.
It's been insulted and spurned.


Thanks to a rebel,
a certain Hiroshige Utagawa
(a being which as it happens
has long since and quite properly passed away)
time stumbled and fell.

Maybe this was a whim of no significance,
a freak covering just a pair of galaxies,
but we should perhaps add the following:


Here it's considered proper
to regard this little picture highly,
admire it and thrill to it from age to age.


For some this isn't enough.
They even hear the pouring rain,
they feel the cool drops on necks and shoulders,
they look at the bridge and the people
as if they saw themselves there
in the self-same never-finished run
along an endless road eternally to be travelled
and believe in their impudence
that things are really thus.

Click here 2 for another translation of this poem.

Copyright © Wislawa Szymborska; Trans. Copyright © Adam Czerniawski 1990 - publ. Forest Books


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