Wednesday, January 24, 2007

National Poetry Day in Flanders and the Netherlands

Following the example of the UK's 'National Poetry Day', the Dutch foundation Poetry International has been organizing a yearly 'Gedichtendag' on the last Thursday of January since the year 2000. Recent editions have been organized in association with the Flemish foundation 'Stichting Lezen'.

The theme of this year's Poetry Day in Flanders and the Netherlands is peace and quiet, simplicity, and concentration. What better way to join in the celebrations than to post a poem by the Polish poet and Nobel Prize winner Wisława Szymborska, from her recent collection Chwila (Moment), in which the poet embraces with wonderment the rich detail of everyday existence and hints at an elusive deeper truth inhering in the seemingly mundane.

Happy Poetry Day to all ;)


A note

Life is the only way
to get covered in leaves,
catch your breath on the sand,
rise on wings;

to be a dog,
or stroke its warm fur;

to tell pain
from everything it's not;

to squeeze inside events,
dawdle in views,
to seek the least of all possible mistakes.

An extraordinary chance
to remember for a moment
a conversation held
with the lamp switched off;

and if only once
to stumble on a stone,
end up soaked in one downpour or another,

mislay your keys in the grass;
and to follow a spark on the wind with your eyes;

and to keep on not knowing
something important.

Wisława Szymborska

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