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Poetry

A Splinter

Translated from Polish

I like you a twenty-year old poet writes to me.
A beginning carpenter of words.

His letter smells of lumber.
His muse still naps in rose wood.

Ambitious noise in a literary sawmill.
Apprentices veneer a gullible tongue.

They cut to size the shy plywood of sentences.
A haiku whittled with a plane.

Problems begin
with a splinter lodged in memory.

It is hard to remove it
much harder to describe.

Wood shavings fly. Laminate angels.
Dust up to the heavens.

Translation of "Drzazga." Copyright Ewa Lipska. By arrangement with the author. Translation copyright 2007 Robin Davidson and Ewa Elżbieta Nowakowska. All rights reserved.

English

I like you a twenty-year old poet writes to me.
A beginning carpenter of words.

His letter smells of lumber.
His muse still naps in rose wood.

Ambitious noise in a literary sawmill.
Apprentices veneer a gullible tongue.

They cut to size the shy plywood of sentences.
A haiku whittled with a plane.

Problems begin
with a splinter lodged in memory.

It is hard to remove it
much harder to describe.

Wood shavings fly. Laminate angels.
Dust up to the heavens.

Translation of "Drzazga." Copyright Ewa Lipska. By arrangement with the author. Translation copyright 2007 Robin Davidson and Ewa Elżbieta Nowakowska. All rights reserved.