Tag Archives: Life

Tranquilized

Poem of the Day: Advertisement

BY WISŁAWA SZYMBORSKA
I’m a tranquilizer.
I’m effective at home.
I work in the office.
I can take exams
on the witness stand.
I mend broken cups with care.
All you have to do is take me,
let me melt beneath your tongue,
just gulp me
with a glass of water.
I know how to handle misfortune,
how to take bad news.
I can minimize injustice,
lighten up God’s absence,
or pick the widow’s veil that suits your face.
What are you waiting for—
have faith in my chemical compassion.
You’re still a young man/woman.
It’s not too late to learn how to unwind.
Who said
you have to take it on the chin?
Let me have your abyss.
I’ll cushion it with sleep.
You’ll thank me for giving you
four paws to fall on.
Sell me your soul.
There are no other takers.
There is no other devil anymore.
Wislawa Szymborska, “Advertisement” from Poems New and Selected. Copyright © 1998 by Wislawa Szymborska.  Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Source: Poems New and Collected(Harcourt Inc., 1998)

WISŁAWA SZYMBORSKA

Biography
More poems by this author

Retrieved and reposted by Poetry Foundation website.

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Creativity and ego bind

jeong-kwan

Jeong Kwan, Buddhist monk pictured at her monastery

“Creativity and ego cannot go together.  If you free yourself from the comparing and jealous mind, your creativity opens up endlessly.  Just as water springs from a fountain, creativity springs from every moment.

“You must not be your own obstacle.  You must not be owned by the environment you are in.  You must own the environment, the phenomenal world around you. You must be able to freely move in and out of your mind. THIS is being free.

“There is no way you can’t open up your creativity.  There is no ego to speak of.  This is my belief.”  — Jeong Kwan, Buddhist monk (nun)


Not an Emergency

fallen-leaf-on-the-railroad-wallpaper-1

“Within the silence that follows the final breath of a dying person is the certainty that something is occurring. In the nonmoving movement of air in the room one senses a deep, deep loneliness and at the same time the connectedness of everything.”

—Robert Chodo Campbell, “Death Is Not an Emergency


The point is to feel


Apricot blossoms scatter

I am in the world to see a leafbound raindrop, feel the tickle of a dandelion bloom, hear the wind from a hummingbird wingbeat.  I am in the world to stare out a window, longing for stimulation, only to realize that stimulation has existed all along.

apricot blossom

“The great road has no gate. It leaps out from the heads of all of you. The open sky has no road.  It enters into my nostrils.  In this way we meet as Gautama’s bandits, or Linji’s troublemakers.  Ha! The great house tumbles down and spring wind swirls.  Astonished, apricot blossoms fly and scatter  – red.”

—Rujing