Sunday, October 10, 2010


Bookstores don't provide
a remote control for Proust,
you can't switch
to a soccer match,
or a quiz show, win a Cadillac.

We live longer
but less precisely
and in shorter sentences.

We travel faster, farther, more often,
but bring back slides instead of memories.
Here I am with some guy.
There I guess that's my ex.
Here everyone's naked
so this must be a beach.

Seven volumes -- mercy.
Couldn't it be cut or summarized,
or better yet put into pictures.
There was that series called "The Doll,"
but my sister-in-law says that's some other P.*

And by the way, who was he anyway.
They say he wrote in bed for years on end.
Page after page
at a snail's pace.
But we're still going in fifth gear
and, knock on wood, never better.

* The reference is to the Polish novelist Boleslaw Prus (1847-1912), whose most famous work, The Doll (1890), later became a popular TV miniseries.

- Wislawa Szymborska


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel that way about Balzac. Will I ever finish reading everything he wrote?

10:25 AM  
Blogger karrvakarela said...

Batul: I've never read Balzac. Actually, I don't think I've read that many French writers.

6:58 AM  

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