Sunday, July 9, 2017

Three Odd Words

     I love the mental jolt I get when a math word is used with a non-math meaning -- suddenly some playful back-and-forth happens in my head.  Here it happens in a tiny poem by Polish Nobelist Wislawa Szymborska (1923-2012).   

       The Three Oddest Words     by Wislawa Szymborska

       When I pronounce the word Future,
       the first syllable already belongs to the past.

       When I pronounce the word Silence,
       I destroy it.

       When I pronounce the word Nothing,
       I make something no nonbeing can hold.
This poem is found on my shelf in Map:  Collected and Last Poems  (Mariner Books, 2016).  Translated from the Polish by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak, edited by Clare Cavanagh.  This link leads to several previous posts that also include work by Szymborska.

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