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A Poor Christian Looks At The Ghetto

Bees build around red liver,
Ants build around black bone.
It has begun: the tearing, the trampling on silks,
It has begun: the breaking of glass, wood, copper, nickel, silver, foam
Of gypsum, iron sheets, violin strings, trumpets, leaves, balls, crystals.
Poof! Phosphorescent fire from yellow walls
Engulfs animal and human hair.

Bees build around the honeycomb of lungs,
Ants build around white bone.
Torn is paper, rubber, linen, leather, flax,
Fiber, fabrics, cellulose, snakeskin, wire.
The roof and the wall collapse in flame and heat seizes the foundations.
Now there is only the earth, sandy, trodden down,
With one leafless tree.

Slowly, boring a tunnel, a guardian mole makes his way,
With a small red lamp fastened to his forehead.
He touches buried bodies, counts them, pushes on,
He distinguishes human ashes by their luminous vapor,
The ashes of each man by a different part of the spectrum.
Bees build around a red trace.
Ants build around the place left by my body.

I am afraid, so afraid of the guardian mole.
He has swollen eyelids, like a Patriarch
Who has sat much in the light of candles
Reading the great book of the species.

What will I tell him, I, a Jew of the New Testament,
Waiting two thousand years for the second coming of Jesus?
My broken body will deliver me to his sight
And he will count me among the helpers of death:
The uncircumcised.


切斯瓦夫·米沃什(1911-2004),美籍波兰诗人、散文家、文学史家。1980年获诺贝尔文学奖,诗歌主题取材极广,技巧多样,诗歌里包含的文化渊源、地域知识、哲学思想,与诗人的敏感性相结合,因而受到高度赞誉。出版的诗集有《白昼之光》、《诗的论文》、《波别尔王和其它的诗》、《中了魔的古乔》、《没有名字的城市》、《太阳从何处升起,在何处下沉》、《诗歌集》等 ...[米沃什的诗]


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