Tuesday, March 11, 2014

try to praise

Try to praise the mutilated world

by Adam Zagajewski

Remember June’s long days,
and wild strawberries, drops of wine, the dew.
The nettles that methodically overgrow
the abandoned homesteads of exiles.
You must praise the mutilated world.
You watched the stylish yachts and ships;
one of them had a long trip ahead of it,
while salty oblivion awaited others.
You’ve seen the refugees heading nowhere,
you’ve heard the executioners sing joyfully.
You should praise the mutilated world.
Remember the moments when we were together
in a white room and the curtain fluttered.
Return in thought to the concert where music flared.
You gathered acorns in the park in autumn
and leaves eddied over the earth’s scars.
Praise the mutilated world
and the gray feather a thrush lost,
and the gentle light that strays and vanishes
and returns.

(Translated, from the Polish, by Clare Cavanagh. From: Without End: New and Selected Poems) 

And airplanes, too, make their way to a salty oblivion, and the executioners go on singing joyfully, and the refugee camps fill up. Which is why we must go on trying, trying to praise the mutilated world. Trying to reconcile the unreconcilable. The beauty of the world and the arrival of light that 'strays and vanishes and returns' with the atrocities and the unthinkable cruelties and the earth's scars.

Yesterday I fell into the light.

I suppose these photos will seem a little bit all the same. But no, the light kept changing, and there is this light in one, and then another light.

And depending on where I stood, and how I manipulated the settings on the camera, the light could be seen completely differently.

Here the light suddenly increased its volume.

So, the flowers are the same in the next many photos, but the light appears in various subtle permutations. All in a very short span of time. Which seemed to me praiseworthy.


  1. You understand light, and beauty, and find both. :)

  2. Your beautiful photos are a testament to the praiseworthy light.

  3. of late... i fell into darkness.
    but you know well.
    the light always does come back.
    i just have to quit watching the news again.

    1. darkness my old friend....
      yes. i do. and the light always returns.....
      and the news. yes, one needs a break. it is too much.


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