By Ryszard Kapuscinski
Bringing jointly for the 1st time in English a variety of poems from his formerly released collections, Kapuscinski bargains up a considerate, philosophical verse, usually aphoristic in tone and constitution, that's engaged politically, morally, and viscerally with the realm round him. Translated from the Polish.
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Extra resources for I Wrote Stone: The Selected Poetry of Ryszard Kapuscinski
39 They hug the glacial cliffs with a kind of joy and regard the iceberg with a shadow of pride for they’ve grown fond of their lot. In a sudden blizzard burst I lost sight of the iceberg and alone in this stony solitude I realized, one should weep for human misery, the cruel, boundless misery of man, misery of the heart and mind, misery of sight and sound, misery of arms and legs, misery our own and others’, misery evil and blind, misery of fate, unfathomable, immeasurable misery of existence.
Committed suicide I wouldn’t say that he replied it was a leave-taking A. withdrew slowly it went on for some time at first he showed up less and less often he disappeared lost touch at first you don’t pay much attention once I met him on the street here he said, tapping his head I have nothing here he walked off bent over as if sewn up in a sack he told someone that what he sees gets smaller and smaller it shrivels then shatters 42 there remained only scattered points in space for awhile they would whirl about in the air like snowflakes until they disappeared the world began to sink into non-being he followed 43 Yogi Ramamurti Yogi Ramamurti bids he be buried in a grave he will remain there one week doctors will testify it’s not a scam whoever wishes can go down the tunnel watch through a window: Ramamurti lies in a grave not breathing everyone is asked for a donation the buried one wants to earn money that’s why he went to the grave: to survive after a week they dig up the yogi Ramamurti emerges weakened he’s touched the absolute that’s always exhausting he bows to the gathering counts the donations 102 rupees less than ten dollars everyone disperses an empty grave remains 44 Ramamurti was reborn but he’s still a beggar weeks pass he has nothing to eat he’s dying of hunger I’m going back to the grave he says only in death life 45 Professor Kant Professor Kant strolling along his beloved Lorenzstrasse at a certain point breaks off his walk and quickly returns home It’s not the rain so frequent in Königsberg this time of year but an insight he wishes urgently to jot down: the human being is not a thing act so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of another, always as an end, never as a means only He tracks the bird in flight this is the instant he forgets about everything caught up Please watch out, Professor, the sidewalk is slippery please do not rush so St.
They’re possessed of that thought after which no other is possible, no humanity. They tell themselves, our torment, our drudgery is not so terrible, somehow we will adapt so long as it will not get worse. Then I began to study them, the beggared ones, their clothing ripped by the graupel gales, the condemned, starving wretches were in their own way content. 39 They hug the glacial cliffs with a kind of joy and regard the iceberg with a shadow of pride for they’ve grown fond of their lot. In a sudden blizzard burst I lost sight of the iceberg and alone in this stony solitude I realized, one should weep for human misery, the cruel, boundless misery of man, misery of the heart and mind, misery of sight and sound, misery of arms and legs, misery our own and others’, misery evil and blind, misery of fate, unfathomable, immeasurable misery of existence.