“The End and the Beginning”: An Anti-War Poem by Wislawa Szymborska (VIDEO)

PoetryFridayButtonSubmitted by Elaine Magliaro

For Poetry Friday this week, I’m sharing one of my favorite poems written by my favorite poet–Wislawa Szymborska. The poem is titled The End and the Beginning. I choose this poem because I think it’s a fitting companion for the other piece I posted earlier today titled “It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again”: The News Media and Political Pundits Appear to Be Fear Mongering and Beating the Drums of War Once More.

Here are the first three stanzas of the poem:

The End and the Beginning
By Wislawa Szymborska
Translated by Joanna Trzeciak

After every war
someone has to clean up.
Things won’t
straighten themselves up, after all.

Someone has to push the rubble
to the side of the road,
so the corpse-filled wagons
can pass.

Someone has to get mired
in scum and ashes,
sofa springs,
splintered glass,
and bloody rags.

Here are the last two stanzas:

Those who knew
what was going on here
must make way for
those who know little.
And less than little.
And finally as little as nothing.

In the grass that has overgrown
causes and effects,
someone must be stretched out
blade of grass in his mouth
gazing at the clouds.

Click here to read the rest of the poem.

The End and the Beginning by Wisława Szymborska

This entry was posted in Art, Poetry, Short Video, War and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to “The End and the Beginning”: An Anti-War Poem by Wislawa Szymborska (VIDEO)

  1. Excellent selection, Elaine.

  2. Pingback: “TORTURES”–A Poem by Wislawa Szymborska | Flowers For Socrates

  3. Pingback: “CONSOLATION”: A Poem by Wislawa Szymborska | Flowers For Socrates

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