Sunday, September 11, 2011

Words for Today

Try to praise the mutilated world.
Remember June's long days, and wild strawberries, drops of wine, the dew.
The nettles that methodically overgrow the abandoned homesteads of exiles.
You must praise the mutilated world.
You watched the stylish yachts and ships; one of them had a long trip ahead of it,
while salty oblivion awaited others.
You've seen the refugees heading nowhere, you've heard the executioners sing joyfully.
You should praise the mutilated world.
Remember the moments when we were together in a white room and the curtain fluttered.
Return in thought to the concert where music flared.
You gathered acorns in the park in autumn and leaves eddied over the earth's scars.
Praise the mutilated world
and the gray feather a thrush lost,
and the gentle light that strays and vanishes
and returns.

          -Adam Zagajewski 
(trans from the original Polish by Clare Cavanaugh)
printed in The New Yorker, September 24, 2001

"Say to those that hate and curse you, 'You are our brothers!'"
-Theophilus of Antioch, second-century bishop

In God the LORD, whose word I praise: in God I trust and will not be afraid.

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