Children of Our Age
Thread poster: Jacek Krankowski
Jacek Krankowski  Identity Verified
English to Polish
+ ...
Feb 6, 2003

How different from yesterday\'s \"Joy of Writing\" by the same author:



CHILDREN OF OUR AGE



We are children of our age,

it\'s a political age.



All day long, all through the night,

all affairs - yours, ours, theirs -

are political affairs.



Whether you like it or not,

your genes have a political past,

your skin, a political cast,

your eyes, a political slant.



Whatever you say reverberates,

whatever you don\'t say speaks for itself.

So either way you\'re talking politics.



Even when you take to the woods,

you\'re taking political steps

on political grounds.



Apolitical poems are also political,

and above us shines a moon

no longer purely lunar.

To be or not to be, that is the question.

And though it troubles the digestion

it\'s a question, as always, of politics.



To acquire a political meaning

you don\'t even have to be human.

Raw material will do,

or protein feed, or crude oil,



or a conference table whose shape

was quarreled over for months:

Should we arbitrate life and death

at a round table or a square one?



Meanwhile, people perished,

animals died,

houses burned,

and the fields ran wild

just as in times immemorial

and less political.



-- Wislawa Szymborska (1996 Nobel Prize)

Translated by Stanislaw Baranczak & Clare Cavanagh



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Arthur Borges
China
Local time: 16:13
English
+ ...
Ha! Now I know why I feel claustrophobic Feb 6, 2003

every time I open my big fat mouth.



Lovely contribution, Jacek!


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:13
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Frankly beautiful Feb 6, 2003

Thanks, JaZek

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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 05:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
Thank you, again... Feb 6, 2003

Thank you for an almost daily introduction of unknown (to me at least...) poetry.



\"Apolitical poems are also political\"

Need to metabolize this....



Au


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Jacek Krankowski  Identity Verified
English to Polish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Arthur, Ceci, Au, Adriana and all other readers Feb 6, 2003

Your company is my pleasure!



P.S. Adriana: Years of practice under adverse historical circumstances...

[ This Message was edited by:on2003-02-06 14:37]


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Adriana Esposito  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:13
Member (2014)
English to Italian
+ ...
Thanks Feb 6, 2003

It\'s very nice what you are doing. Thank you for sharing...

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Ildiko Santana  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:13
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...

MODERATOR
if I may join in.. Feb 8, 2003

Dear All,



It is so nice to find something beautiful and precious here from time to time, on our short breaks, or after a long day/night of translating. Thank you for the contributions and to Roomy for starting this thread.



I hope you won\'t mind my posting a poem here. In this particular thread it just feels perfectly appropriate. Poetry.. Children of our age.. Politics...

Please spare a moment to read the poem below, a poem written by Nick, a 12-year old boy of California [posted with his permission].

Part of me is wishing to see the day when 12-year old boys will again be too busy with their ball games and PS 2\'s to write poems like this. Too happy again to have thoughts like this.

But, deep inside, I am hoping that not one will ever stop remembering.

~~~~~~~



*Never Forget*



Never Forget

The pain you felt

The hurt

The death

The lost ones

The found ones



Never Forget

The flags and the candles

Tears forged of blood and fire

Lovers wandering through the streets, searching

Children who were orphaned in an instant



Never Forget

The phone calls home from the airplanes

Crying wives

Children who didn\'t understand where daddy had gone

Empty chairs at the dinner table



Never Forget

The prayers and the curses

The prejudice

The hate

The hunt for the men who ruined it all



Never Forget

How the racial barriers melted

Americans as a whole

Flags in the wind

Strangers holding hands, united



Never Forget

Where you were that day

Seeing the flames on the television screen

The dry feeling in your mouth

The way your stomach turned sour

The girl sitting next to you, crying because her dad worked there



Never forget

9/11



~~~~~~~~


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Jacek Krankowski  Identity Verified
English to Polish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
We need to look at the world from all possible angles Feb 8, 2003

Thank you, Ildiko, for broadening our perspective.



Actually, the poem I posted on the occasion of the last Thanksgiving also became very famous:

http://www.proz.com/?sp=bb/viewtopic&post=41553#41553

[ This Message was edited by:on2003-02-09 17:15]


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Ildiko Santana  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:13
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...

MODERATOR
thank you Jacek Feb 8, 2003

for the link to that previous thread.

\"Why are bad times the only times we can appreciate what we have?\" - Many times I\'ve tried to seek the answer myself. Good times, valuables, people, relationships.. why do we recognize and appreciate them only when they are at peril, when they are being taken away from us?

Finding answers is one of the many reasons why we\'ll always have poetry and literature and music (and sometimes the combination of all three, such as Boris Vian\'s works), wouldn\'t you agree?



Have a wonderful weekend, All.

Ildiko


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Roomy Naqvy  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 13:43
English to Hindi
+ ...
Comments Feb 9, 2003

Dear Jacek, Ildiko, Everyone else,



In the humanities, in our Univ, we have had informal debates about the impact of the dates 9 and 11 on the present civilization. We even had a speaker from Georgia, USA, recently at our Univ Dept who spoke in terms of multiculturalism in the same sense. As this is a Literature Forum, \"grey areas\" must be allowed as long as they remain grey. ... and do not lapse into anything black and/or white. Please do not take my post as any kind of criticism... let\'s all have poems... but no overtly political statements.



And as all of you literature lovers would know... it is possible to say anything using literary examples. We have the example of William Langland, Chaucer\'s contemporary, who possibly indulged in scathing satire but kept it intelligently hidden.



Best wishes for a wonderfully literary session here.



Roomy
[addsig]


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Roomy Naqvy  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 13:43
English to Hindi
+ ...
Literature, Poetry and so on Feb 9, 2003

Dear Colleagues,



Probably, without a sense of socio-political outrage, P B Shelley and Pablo Neruda would not have been born and without a sense of contemporary politics, George Orwell\'s Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty Four would not have been possible. The same could also be said of Salman Rushdie as also of Gunter Grass and also of many others cutting across time and history.



We may try to limit ourselves to \'language/literature related\' matters here in the widest sense of the term....that\'s just our little constraint... but not a major one. As I said earlier, all those lovers of literature can always quote a wonderful example....without being too overt about any matter in life and society.



Best wishes....



_________________



[ This Message was edited by:on2003-02-09 17:25]


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Arthur Borges
China
Local time: 16:13
English
+ ...
Overt thanx to Ildiko Feb 10, 2003

I have seen and heard two-year olds utter suprisingly adult remarks in the face of pain.



Pain?



We need it to grow.



This is our human lot: we\'te too limited to proceed otherwise, at least in most cases.



Thank you again, the poem touched where it hurts, especially now.


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