Sunday, August 5, 2012

Krzystof Kamil Baczynski (1921-1944)

Elegy: On Summer

O childish eyes of cornflowers,
ripeness of nasturtiums.
Today is like a ship sailing for India,
sailing for Turkey.
In shade from broad baobabs of lindens, the avenues
are dreaming.
With a Bach fugue, the next-door balcony
leads the landscape to the church
and the wheels of sky can be heard—the planets’ creaking.
What then is left?
This: the grave is the earthen layer of recollection,
a lifeless flower with cheeks like a child,
my last poem which I burned to ashes,
from which a small black rose remained.

—Translated from the Polish by Bill Johnston

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