June 06, 2005

Pebble

The pebble
is a perfect creature

equal to itself
mindful of its limits

filled exactly
with a pebbly meaning

with a scent which does not remind one of anything
does not frighten anything away does not arouse desire

its ardour and coldness
are just and full of dignity

I feel a heavy remorse
when I hold it in my hand
and its noble body
is permeated by false warmth

- Pebbles cannot be tamed
to the end they will look at us
with a calm and very clear eye

From: Zbigniew Herbert, Selected Poems, available in the uni library (once I’ve returned it!)


- 5 comments by 1 or more people

  1. Interesting poem, although some words seems displaced for me…"desire", "dignity" dont quite tell me what I want to know about the pebble, it's a bit too vague. I think there is a simple and interesting vibe to it, but I'm not completely sure about it….

    On another note, no I dont translate my poems. Although Ive done a lot of translation in my life, I dont really agree with it's existence. It's not the same text in my opinion, the words become meaningless. But you could argue that if I sometimes think in Spanigh or French before writing in English, then perhaps there is already a translation going on in my head, which would give my work less credibility, i believe.

    07 Jun 2005, 18:06

  2. Interesting poem, although some words seems displaced for me…"desire", "dignity" dont quite tell me what I want to know about the pebble, it's a bit too vague. I think there is a simple and interesting vibe to it, but I'm not completely sure about it….

    On another note, no I dont translate my poems. Although Ive done a lot of translation in my life, I dont really agree with it's existence. It's not the same text in my opinion, the words become meaningless. But you could argue that if I sometimes think in Spanigh or French before writing in English, then perhaps there is already a translation going on in my head, which would give my work less credibility, i believe.

    07 Jun 2005, 18:07

  3. Interesting poem, although some words seems displaced for me…"desire", "dignity" dont quite tell me what I want to know about the pebble, it's a bit too vague. I think there is a simple and interesting vibe to it, but I'm not completely sure about it….

    On another note, no I dont translate my poems. Although Ive done a lot of translation in my life, I dont really agree with it's existence. It's not the same text in my opinion, the words become meaningless. But you could argue that if I sometimes think in Spanigh or French before writing in English, then perhaps there is already a translation going on in my head, which would give my work less credibility, i believe.

    07 Jun 2005, 18:08

  4. Interesting poem, although some words seems displaced for me…"desire", "dignity" dont quite tell me what I want to know about the pebble, it's a bit too vague. I think there is a simple and interesting vibe to it, but I'm not completely sure about it….

    On another note, no I dont translate my poems. Although Ive done a lot of translation in my life, I dont really agree with it's existence. It's not the same text in my opinion, the words become meaningless. But you could argue that if I sometimes think in Spanigh or French before writing in English, then perhaps there is already a translation going on in my head, which would give my work less credibility, i believe.

    07 Jun 2005, 18:10

  5. But you realise I hadn't written this myself right? Es un poeta Polones.

    It seems to meet that the poet tries to symbolise the independence and indifference of the pebble. In a way, it does not desire to be desired. It has dignity exactly because of its independence. Well, that's what I make of it anyway.

    07 Jun 2005, 23:06


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