Wednesday, May 23, 2012

`Pray That the Road is Long'

Today I fly to Kraków to attend a wedding. One of my wife’s cousins, a German, is marrying a Polish girl. I’m uncertain of internet availability at my hotel, and I’m even more uncertain of my mental state after sixteen hours of travel, with a stop in Paris, so in advance I’m posting daily excerpts from the Polish commonplace book I’ve been keeping. I will add to the entries as circumstances permit. Here is the first stanza of Zbigniew Herbert’s “Journey”:

“If you set out on a journey pray that the road is long
a wandering without apparent aim a blind groping
so you come to know earth’s harshness not just by sight but by touch
so that you measure yourself against the world with your whole skin”

[The Collected Poems 1956-1998, translated by Alissa Valles]

1 comment:

Chuck Kelly said...

Bon voyage, oder Gute Reise.