Under a Certain Little Star
I apologize to coincidence for calling it necessity.
I apologize to necessity just in case I’m mistaken.
Let happiness be not angry that I take it as my own.
Let the dead not remember they scarcely smoulder in my memory.
I apologize to time for the muchness of the word overlooked per second.
I apologize to old love for regarding the new as the first.
Forgive me, far-off wars, for bringing flowers home.
Forgive me, open wounds, for pricking my finger.
I apologize to those who cry out of the depths for the minuet-record.
I apologize to people at railway stations for sleeping at five in the morning.
Pardon me, hounded hope, for laughing now and again.
Pardon me, deserts, for not rushing up with a spoonful of water.
And you, O falcon, the same these many years, in that same cage,
Forever staring motionless at that self-same spot,
Absolve me, even though you are but a stuffed bird.
I apologize to the cut-down tree for the table’s four legs.
I apologize to big questions for small answers.
O Truth, do not pay me too much heed.
O Solemnity, be magnanimous unto me.
Endure, mystery of existence, that I pluck out the threads of your train.
Accuse me not, O soul, of possessing you but seldom.
I apologize to everything that I cannot be everywhere.
I apologize to everyone that I cannot be every man and woman.
I know that as long as I live nothing can justify me,
Because I myself am an obstacle to myself.
Take it not amiss, O speech, that I borrow weighty words,
And later try hard to make them seem light.
Sounds, Feelings, Thoughts: Seventy Poems by Wislawa Szymborska
Princeton Univeristy Preess: 1981; pp.147