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Poetry

Tiresias’s Farewell

By Janusz Szuber
Translated from Polish by Alissa Valles

From unexpiated sins
poems are born. That’s why you sent down
thickening darkness on my eyes.
A spiral staircase carries me to countries under the earth –
republics of shadow, kingdoms of grayness.
The girl waiting by the stairs
is a replica of that other Theban servant girl.
Only from loudspeakers the insistent splinters
of their music. Still lives
Lose their color, turn cold, and now I no longer wish
to reach the pear or the pomegranate,
like the tired dog of a gardener
denying myself and others the nourishment of a verse.

English

From unexpiated sins
poems are born. That’s why you sent down
thickening darkness on my eyes.
A spiral staircase carries me to countries under the earth –
republics of shadow, kingdoms of grayness.
The girl waiting by the stairs
is a replica of that other Theban servant girl.
Only from loudspeakers the insistent splinters
of their music. Still lives
Lose their color, turn cold, and now I no longer wish
to reach the pear or the pomegranate,
like the tired dog of a gardener
denying myself and others the nourishment of a verse.

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