A Few Words on The Soul


FOLLOW ME ON YOU TUBE AND LEARN EACH DAY ABOUT NEW THINGS BY CLICKING BUTTON BELOW

A Few Words on the Soul

--by Wislawa Szymborska

Translated from the Polish by Stanisław Barańczak and Clare Cavanagh


We have a soul at times.

No one’s got it non-stop,

for keeps.


Day after day,

year after year

may pass without it.


Sometimes

it will settle for awhile

only in childhood’s fears and raptures.

Sometimes only in astonishment

that we are old.


It rarely lends a hand

in uphill tasks,

like moving furniture,

or lifting luggage,

or going miles in shoes that pinch.


It usually steps out

whenever meat needs chopping

or forms have to be filled.


For every thousand conversations

it participates in one,

if even that,

since it prefers silence.


Just when our body goes from ache to pain,

it slips off-duty.


It’s picky:

it doesn’t like seeing us in crowds,

our hustling for a dubious advantage

and creaky machinations make it sick.


Joy and sorrow

aren’t two different feelings for it.

It attends us

only when the two are joined.


We can count on it

when we’re sure of nothing

and curious about everything.


Among the material objects

it favors clocks with pendulums

and mirrors, which keep on working

even when no one is looking.


It won’t say where it comes from

or when it’s taking off again,

though it’s clearly expecting such questions.


We need it

but apparently

it needs us

for some reason too.


Search my site with google custom search!

Medical information obtained from this website is not intended as a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you have a problem, you should consult a healthcare provider.