“She wants me to live only for her and with her. Ideally in a dark, locked room, but my plans still feature today’s sun, clouds in progress, ongoing roads.”
With this singular clarity, Wislawa Szymborska views memory. By running a casual yet assertive hand, she makes the memory cursive; memory that is stitched into seamless minute knots connecting the present, illuminating the present.
Here is a solace, a silent hurrah. Written in small, fresh bud-like paragraphs, this collection of poems comes with the agenda of a butterfly – fragile at first sight, intriguing at second sight, rejuvenating at third sight and unforgettable after its flight.
Since her love for art found life and prosperity under difficult, turbulent times, her perspective emerged as a rough-cut diamond.
“And so I have before me two views in one: a mournful cemetery made of tiny eternal rests or, rising from the sea, the azure sea, dazzling white cliffs, cliffs that are here because they are.”
So she says about death and argues whether the event, in itself, deserves an eulogy or the legacy it has left behind does.
She expresses her relief in witnessing the continuity of life despite fatal twists and turns and in doing so, becomes the possessor of a rare, comforting clairvoyance. She balances the animate and inanimate in the same sentence, annulling any tremulous ideas pushing the divide. So while she challenges the motives of fanatics and dictators and dismisses the inflammable roquettes of opportunists and cynics, she also finds happiness in stepping back when life beats her with its wisdom.
She writes in deceptively easy streams, words that almost quietly go past an onlooker. But once an undercurrent from her observant vase touches a dangling feet, it becomes nigh impossible to hold back the curiosity.
Wislawa Szymborska came across as a content wanderer to me, who after collecting the green as well as brown leaves on the path of life, learnt to care for both, keeping their existence safe in the vaults of her eyes and memory.
[Image courtesy: crafthubs.com ]