Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Zbigniew Herbert


Polish poet Zbigniew Herbert, 1955

Thorns and Roses by Zbigniew Herbert

Thorns and Roses
Saint Ignatius
pale and fiery
passing by a rose
flung himself on the bush
mutilating his flesh
with the bell of his black frock
he wished to stifle
the beauty of the world
which gushed from earth as from a wound
and lying at the bottom
of the cradle of thorns
he saw
that the blood flowing from his brow
was clotting on his lashes
in the shape of a rose
and the blind hand
seeking out thorns
was pierced through
by petals’ soft touch
the defrauded saint wept
amid flowers’ mockeries
thorns and roses
roses and thorns
we seek happiness

Translated from the English translation(Czeslaw Milosz & Peter Dale Scott) of: THORNS AND ROSES: Zbigniew Herbert's Collected Poems ( New York, 2007)


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