Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Verse of the Day - Adam Zajajewski


Yes folks, there are poets whose name begins with the letter z, a letter that's pronounced zee over here, although I prefer "zed"

Adam Zagajewski is not only the only poet I am familiar with with a 'z' surname, but he's the only Polish poet I am aware of. And this poem strikes a chrord with me because I need balance - work/life balance right now.

Balance by Adam Zagajewski

I watched the arctic landscape from above
and thought of nothing, lovely nothing.
I observed white canopies of clouds, vast
expanses where no wolf tracks could be found.

I thought about you and about the emptiness
that can promise one thing only: plenitude—
and that a certain sort of snowy wasteland
bursts from a surfeit of happiness.

As we drew closer to our landing,
the vulnerable earth emerged among the clouds,
comic gardens forgotten by their owners,
pale grass plagued by winter and the wind.

I put my book down and for an instant felt
a perfect balance between waking and dreams.
But when the plane touched concrete, then
assiduously circled the airport's labryinth,

I once again knew nothing. The darkness
of daily wanderings resumed, the day's sweet darkness,
the darkness of the voice that counts and measures,
remembers and forgets.


  1. So this is what it means to have your head in the clouds. Sounds like a wonderful place to be. Those darn dark forces always pulling us back to earth...
    Enjoyed this one!

  2. The contrast between the whiteness in the beginning and darkness in the end is pretty stark. That middle ground is pretty hard to find and hold onto. I liked this one. It was nicely done.

    I hope you can reach the balance you're looking for too, David. It's a juggling act just getting through the day sometimes.