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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Under One Small Star


Under One Small Star

My apologies to chance for calling it necessity.
My apologies to necessity if I'm mistaken, after all.
Please, don't be angry, happiness, that I take you as my due.
May my dead be patient with the way my memories fade.
My apologies to time for all the world I overlook each second.
My apologies to past loves for thinking that the latest is the first.
Forgive me, open wounds, for pricking my finger.
I apologize for my record of minutes to those who cry from the depths.
I apologize to those who wait in railway stations for being asleep today at five a.m.
Pardon me, hounded hope, for laughing from time to time.
Pardon me, deserts, that I don't rush to you bearing a spoonful of water.
And you, falcon, unchanging year after year, always in the same cage,
your gaze always fixed on the same point in space,
forgive me, even if it turns out you were stuffed.
My apologies to the felled tree for the table's four legs.
My apologies to great questions for small answers.
Truth, please don't pay me much attention.
Dignity, please be magnanimous.
Bear with me, O mystery of existence, as I pluck the occasional thread from your train.
Soul, don't take offense that I've only got you now and then.
My apologies to everything that I can't be everywhere at once.
My apologies to everyone that I can't be each woman and each man.
I know I won't be justified as long as I live,
since I myself stand in my own way.
Don't bear me ill will, speech, that I borrow weighty words,
then labour heavily so that they may seem light.

Nobel Prize in Literature 1996

11 comments:

steven said...

what an unburdneing of a wealth of guilt! steven

Teri said...

This is a wonderful poem Alaine! I have never read anything by here nor was I aware of her either. It is wonderful to be able to come to someone's blog and learn something new. This happens to me more often than not. I have been worrying about my NZ friends!

alaine@éclectique said...

Steven...you didn't like it, I take it.

alaine@éclectique said...

Teri...I hope you've had some contact with your NZ friends. Of course, NZ is our neighbour and we consider them 'family'. It is so dreadful...

Lyn said...

An amazing assemblage of words..and to be remembered,"for laughing from time to time".. what saves us in this cosmic joke!!

Betsy said...

oh my...I have not heard this poem before! Very interesting!

maggie's garden said...

Love the art image...very cool...and the poem of course!

alaine@éclectique said...

maggie's garden....karen, some of his art is very weird. I'm 50/50 about the poem; it is rather depressing.

maggie's garden said...

It may be somewhat depressing...but it's real. And I like weird art! Enjoy your break with nature. xo

dancingbeastie said...

Written by a Catholic, by any chance?!! It's clever, and it makes me think - but it is rather exhausting, all this guilt. The burden of existence.

The picture is very arresting. I don't exactly like it...but I am very struck by it and its poignancy. Thank you for sharing these things for us to think over.

le style et la matière said...

I was about to get all choked up with your poem, but it is just too much these days are tough enough.


For every ailment under the sun
There is a remedy,
or there is none;
If there be one, try to find it;
If there be none, never mind it.
Mother Goose

Not so sure we should go 100% with either of these!!!