Adam Zagajewski, “Fire”

(Photo: Camille Martin)

Pic St-Loup, Montpellier, France
(Photo: Camille Martin)

 

Fire

                   Probably I am an ordinary middle-class
                   believer in individual rights, the word
                   “freedom” is simple to me, it doesn’t mean
                   the freedom of any class in particular.
                   Politically naive, with an average
                   education (brief moments of clear vision
                   are its main nourishment), I remember
                   the blazing appeal of that fire which parches
                   the lips of the thirsty crowd and burns
                   books and chars the skin of cities. I used to sing
                   those songs and I know how great it is
                   to run with others; later, by myself,
                   with the taste of ashes in my mouth, I heard
                   the lie’s ironic voice and the choir screaming
                   and when I touched my head I could feel
                   the arched skull of my country, its hard edge.

 

Adam Zagajewski, from Tremor: Selected Poems
(translated by Renata Gorczynski)

 


 

Camille Martin
http://www.camillemartin.ca

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